The Independent Market Observer

Economic Release Snapshot: Business Confidence Slips in March

Posted by Sam Millette

This entry was posted on Apr 10, 2023 10:01:50 AM

and tagged In the News

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Monday UpdateEach week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

Reports for the Week of April 3

ISM Manufacturing, March (Monday)

  • Expected/prior ISM Manufacturing index: 47.5/47.7
  • Actual ISM Manufacturing index: 46.3

Manufacturer confidence fell more than expected in March, driven, in part, by declines in new orders and supply deliveries. This result left the index in contractionary territory, signaling a potential slowdown for the manufacturing industry.

International trade report, February (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior trade deficit: –$68.8 billion/–$68.7 billion
  • Actual trade deficit: –$70.5 billion

The trade deficit widened slightly more than expected in February as imports fell 1.5 percent and exports dropped 2.7 percent. While February's trade gap was the largest in four months, it remains well above the record levels we saw in early 2022.

ISM Services, March (Wednesday)

  • Expected/prior ISM Services index: 54.4/55.1
  • Actual ISM Services index: 51.2

Service sector confidence fell more than expected in March; however, the index still sits in expansionary territory despite the decline. A drop in demand primarily drove the drop in service sector confidence, as new orders and business activity slowed in March.

Employment report, March (Friday)

  • Expected/prior monthly job growth: 230,000/326,000
  • Actual monthly job growth: 236,000
  • Expected/prior unemployment rate: 3.6%/3.6%
  • Actual unemployment rate: 3.5%

The March employment report showed that hiring remained strong, and more jobs than expected were added during the month. The unemployment rate also fell and remains near post-pandemic lows.

Upcoming Reports for the Week of April 10

Consumer Price Index, February (Wednesday)

Headline consumer inflation is expected to slow on a year-over-year basis from 6 percent in February to 5.2 percent in March. If estimates hold, this will mark the lowest level of headline consumer inflation since May 2021.

FOMC meeting minutes, March (Wednesday)

The minutes from the Fed’s March meeting will be released on Wednesday. Economists and investors will closely examine the meeting minutes for hints on the future path of monetary policy.

Producer Price Index, March (Thursday)

Headline and core producer inflation are set to slow in March, with economists calling for no change in headline prices following a modest decline in February.

Retail sales, March (Friday)

Headline and core retail sales are set to decline in March, which could result in two consecutive months of declining sales if estimates hold.

Industrial production, March (Friday)

Industrial production is expected to grow modestly in March following a flat February.

University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, April, preliminary (Friday)

The first estimate of consumer sentiment in April is expected to show a modest uptick in confidence, which would be a good sign for future consumer spending growth.

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