by Bill McBride on 2/28/2014 09:55:00 AM
Friday, February 28, 2014
Click on graph for larger image.
• The final Reuters / University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for February increased to 81.6 from the January reading of 81.2, and from the preliminary February reading of 81.2.
This was above the consensus forecast of 81.2. Sentiment has generally been improving following the recession - with plenty of ups and downs - and a big spike down when Congress threatened to "not pay the bills" in 2011, and another smaller spike down last October and November due to the government shutdown.
I expect to see sentiment at post-recession highs very soon.
• From the Chicago ISM:
The Chicago Business Barometer remained broadly unchanged at 59.8 in February compared with 59.6 in January, as a double-digit gain in Employment offset declines in New Orders, Production and Order Backlogs. ... Some panellists cited the negative effect of the poor weather on their business, although overall this appeared to have a minor impact that was only visible in longer supplier lead times.This was above the consensus estimate of 57.8.
After expanding at a faster rate in January, Production and New Orders decelerated in February, while a more pronounced set back was seen in Order Backlogs. In contrast, the Employment Indicator bounced back sharply in February, jumping out of contraction, and nearly reversing the declines seen in the previous two months.
Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist at MNI Indicators said, “The latest Chicago Report confirms that the US economic recovery continued in February, with New Orders and Production remaining at high levels.”