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DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer increased by 0.3%
For the week ending February 21 2015, the DJ-BTMU U.S. Business Barometer rose by 0.3 percent to 98.6. This week’s barometer was driven by strong performances in both consumption and production indexes. MBA’s purchase index picked up by a solid 4.6 percent after declining for five consecutive weeks; while railroad freight car loadings increased by 1.2 percent. As to the production side, most indexes reported gains, especially electric output and coal production, which climbed by 7.8 and 4.7 percent, respectively.
On a year-over-year basis, the barometer showed a gain of 1.8 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, remained at 98.4. Its year-over-year growth rate was 1.2 percent.
Posted: March 5, 2015 Thursday 10:00 AM