The Market Is Going To Turn Around? Consumer Confidence Plunges In March, Inflation Running Hotter Than At Any Point In 3 Years, Empire Fed Misses. BOA: “Today’s Stock Market Has Lost Some Of Its Ability To Reflect Underlying Economic Trends”

Friday, March 15, 2013
By Paul Martin
March 15th, 2013

February Inflation Rises By Most In One Year; Empire Fed Misses Even As Optimism Rises To Highest In 12 Months

Following last month’s surprising surge in the Empire Fed [7]from a deep negative number to 10.04, the March print was less exciting, declining modestly to 9.24, on expectations of an unchanged number. The new orders and shipments indexes remained above zero, though both were somewhat lower than last month’s levels, dropping from 13.31 to 8.18 and 13.08 to 7.76, respectively. Price indexes showed that input price increases continued at a steady pace while selling prices were flat. Employment indexes suggested that labor market conditions were sluggish, with little change in employment levels and the length of the average workweek. The Number of Employees index dropped from 8.08 to 3.23, back to September 2012 levels. Naturally, with reality worse than expected, all hopes were put in the future as indexes for the six-month outlook pointed to an increasing level of optimism about future conditions, with the future general business conditions index rising to its highest level in nearly a year. This is only the 4th year in a row in which optimism about the future is orders of magnitude higher than the current reality. Thank the Fed’s “wealth channel to support consumer spending.”

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