Research >> Economics
BTMU U.S. Business Barometer rose by 0.4%
For the week ending January 23 2016, the BTMU U.S. Business Barometer rose by 0.4 percent to 98.2, extending the positive trend for three weeks in a row. This week’s gain was driven by both consumption and production indexes. MBA’s purchase index, for instance, increased by 4.6 percent following a loss of 1.6 percent in the previous week; while railroad freight car loadings surged 0.7 percent. As to the production side, all indexes except coal production, reported gains. For example, electric output and auto production climbed by 6.0 and 2.2 percent, respectively.
On a year-over-year basis, the barometer remained flat, 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, increased by 0.1 percent to 97.9. Its year-over-year growth rate was -0.5 percent.
Posted: February 4, 2016 Thursday 10:00 AM