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BTMU U.S. Business Barometer declined by 0.4%
For the week ending December 26 2015, the BTMU U.S. Business Barometer fell by 0.6 percent to 97.8, extending the fall for two weeks in a row. This week’s drop was driven by both consumption and production indexes. Chain store sales, for instance, dipped by 1.6 percent following a solid gain of 3.7 percent in the previous week; while MBA’s purchase index declined by 4.3 percent. As to the production side, the gains in auto, truck and lumber production were not enough to offset the sharp losses in electric output and steel production.
On a year-over-year basis, the barometer showed a loss of -2.5 percent, which compares to an average -3.3 percent decline over the Great Recession (ended in June 2009 according to the NBER). After flat lining in 2006, and declining from 2007 through 2009, the barometer bounced back in 2010 to rise by 3.4 percent, which was the strongest increase since 1994 (+4.0 percent), but not so impressive when compared to an -8.0 percent drop in 2009. The rate of increase for the 2013 slowed to 0.7 percent following 1.5 percent in 2012.
The smoothed version of the barometer, which attempts to account for weekly volatility, dropped by 0.1 percent to 98.1. Its year-over-year growth rate was -1.5 percent.
Posted: January 7, 2016 Thursday 10:00 AM