Research >> Economics
DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer Down 0.6%
For the week ending May 15, 2010, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer dropped for a second week in a row, down -0.6 percent. The “great unwind” continued in the latest week as mortgage applications saw their largest decline (-27.1%) since the week ending April 4, 1997 (-32.4%). The drop in applications represented a -0.4 percentage point drag on the barometer. With the passing of the April 30 expiration of the homebuyer tax credits home sales will go through a period of reset as we fall back to a level supported solely by fundamentals. Luckily, job growth should provide support for home sales over the summer months. Elsewhere, a hefty decline in inflation-adjusted chain store sales accounted for another -0.4 percentage point drag on the barometer. Although it is too early to tell if the drop in chain store sales is a result of uncertainty over how the ongoing European debt crisis, which has set the stock market reeling, will affect household finances, it bears close scrutiny over the next few weeks. The longer financial markets remain in a state of flux the more damage is done to household and business spending decisions.
Posted: May 27, 2010 Thursday 10:00 AM