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Market insight 17.03.2023

US consumer confidence (Michigan) lower than expected

US consumer confidence (Michigan) lower than expected

US: Industrial production (Feb.): 0% m/m vs 0.2% expected (prior: 0.3% revised from 0%)

  • Prior data were revised up, but activity remained sluggish over the month; manufacturing production was up by 0.1% m/m after 1.3% m/m thanks to utility-energy while autos and machinery production was down; production of computer-electronics was up by 1.2% m/m after -1.7% m/m.
  • As revealed by regional surveys, activity remained fragile in industry.

US: Consumer confidence (Michigan) (March): 63.4 vs 67 expected (prior: 67)

  • Consumer confidence has come lower than expected after rebuilding momentum in the prior months.
  • Sentiment has decreased on both current situation and expectations from the past month.
  • Opinions have deteriorated on income and personal financial situation; views have turned more cautious on future activity, while staying positive on current situation. Rates are expected to rise further.
  • Willingness to buy large items, autos and houses has decreased after a rebound the prior month and sentiment has deteriorated.
  • Inflation expectations have decreased: from 4.1% to 3.8% for 1y inflation and from 2.9% to 2.8% for inflation 5-10y.
  • Volatile financial markets, rising costs of credit and tighter standards of credit would weigh down on sentiment and purchases.

Eurozone: CPI (Feb.): 0.8% m/m as expected (prior: -0.4%)

  • Inflation has rebounded as expected; all sectors have reversed after Jan. moderation and have shown a strong monthly rise: energy, food, industrialized goods and services.
  • Yearly trend has stabilized at 8.5% y/y but core inflation has accelerated from 5.3% y/y the prior month to 5.6% y/y.
  • This confirmed ECB remained worried on core inflation.

Sweden: Unemployment rate (Feb.): 7.6% vs 7.3% expected (prior: 7.3%)

  • After a bottom reached in August 2022 at 6.8%, unemployment ratio has progressively trended higher.

Brazil: Unemployment rate (Jan.): 8.4% vs 8.2% expected (prior: 7.9%)

  • Trend in labor has slightly deteriorated over the month.


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Market insight 23.03.2023

Key rates on the rise for the BoE, Norges Bank and SNB

US: Initial jobless claims (Mar 18): 191k vs 197k expected (prior: 192k)

  • Continuing claims: 1694 k after 1680 k the prior week.

 

US: New home sales (Feb.): 640k vs 650k expected (prior: 633k revised from 670k)

  • Some rebound after large downwards revisions to prior months data.
  • 2 districts over 4 have driven the monthly rebound; inventories have marginally decreased over the month.
  • Prices were volatile; median prices have rebounded (2.5% y/y after -0.9% y/y the prior month) but mean prices remained under contraction (-4.5% y/y after 4.3% y/y).

 

Switzerland: The SNB has increased key rates by 50 bp to1.50%.

  • Inflation remained a concern that justified a 50 bp rate hike to 1.50%. The rise in inflation looks broad-based, driven by electricity, food and tourism.
  • The inflation forecasts have been increased by 0.2-0.3 pp to 2.6% in 2023 and 2% in 2024-24; note the 2% inflation target is supposed to be reached at end of 2024.
  • The statement mentioned that more rate hikes are possible, and the bank could remain active in FX interventions.
  • Growth is expected to be around 1% in 2023 and uncertainties remain on the short term related to foreign economies and turmoil in banks.
  • SNB mentioned that actions have put a halt on the bank crisis, and the bank will provide liquidity in Swiss franc and foreign currencies. Signs of slowdown in housing prices have developed, and vulnerabilities remain in place according to the central bank.

 

Norway: Norges bank has increased key rates by 25 bp as expected to 3.0%.

  • Hawkish statement mentioned further rises in May (and probably June) to contain any inflation-wage growth spiral.

 

UK: The BoE has increased key rates by 25 bp to 4.25%.

  • The bank has hiked by 25 bp after 50 bp the previous meeting. 2 governors were in favor of no change rates and other agreed to hike by 25 bp.
  • Meeting-by-meeting decision should lead to another potential hike in May if inflation and labor stay high or a pause if inflation comes back. Growth is expected to be slightly positive in Q2 after a mild negative Q1 GDP.
  • The bank stated the banking sector is in a good shape. The bank will monitor credit conditions but did not seem to expect more restrictive credit supply.

 

Turkey: Consumer confidence (March): 80.1 (prior: 82.5)

  • Consumer confidence has decreased on deteriorating future personal financial situation; opinions on economy and purchases have also slightly decreased over the month.

 

Turkey: The central bank has left key rates unchanged at 8.50%.

Market insight 22.03.2023

UK inflation on re-acceleration

UK: CPI (Feb.): 1.1% m/m vs 0.6% expected (prior: -0.6%)

  • All major prices have strongly accelerated over the month: food clothes, household goods, communication and hotels-restaurants prices have increased more than 1% m/m.
  • Goods and services prices have both strongly accelerated over the month despite signs of slowdown in the economy and past action of the BoE. Yearly trend has accelerated from 10.1% y/y the prior month to 10.4% y/y.

UK: PPI Input prices (Feb.): -0.1% m/m vs -0.2% expected (prior: 0.4% revised from -0.1%)

  • Prices have declined thanks to lower energy prices (-1.1% m/m after -3.5% m/m the prior month). Prices in other sectors were flat or modestly up over the month.
  • Yearly trend has declined from 14.7% y/y to 12.7% y/y.

UK: PPI Output prices (Feb.): -0.3% m/m vs 0.1% expected (prior: 0.5%)

  • Oil and good prices have declined over the month, while food prices were up by 0.8% m/m after 1% m/m the prior month.
  • Yearly trend has declined from 13.5% y/y to 12.1% y/y. Output and input prices have pointed toward lower pressures on costs, while firms have increased further margins and final prices to consumers in several sectors notably in services.

Norway: Unemployment rate (Feb.): 3.6% (prior: 3.5% revised from 3.4%)

  • Unemployment continues to bottom out, from the lows (3%) reached in May 22.

Poland: M3 (Feb.): 1.7% m/m vs 0.9% expected (prior: 0.2%)

  • M3 up by 7.4% y/y after 6.9% y/y prior month.
Market insight 21.03.2023

Rebounding US existing home sales; weakening German ZEW expectations

US: Existing home sales (Feb.): 4.58M vs 4.2M expected (prior: 4M)

  • Sales have rebounded as long-term interest rates have decreased. Sales of single-family houses have strongly rebounded (+15% m/m) and condo sales were also on the rise.
  • Inventories have decreased but the period a house is on sale has significantly increased compared to past months.
  • Prices have marginally increased over the month, but mean prices declined by 0.2% y/y.
  • First-time buyers have decreased; demand is firmer when rates go lower, particularly in regions where labor remains strong.

Germany: Zew (March): 13 vs 15 expected (prior: 28.1)

  • Expectations among financial community have fallen over the month; views on current situation have also decreased (index at -46.5 after -45.1 the prior month).
  • Turmoil on banks and markets have increased worries but expectations index remained in positive territory after a rebuilding process past quarters.

Switzerland: M3 (Feb.): 0.1% y/y (prior: -0.1% revised from 0%)

  • On a yearly basis, monetary aggregates have contracted more: M2 down by 5.5% y/y after -4.7% y/y the prior month and M1 down by 6.7% y/y after -5.1% y/y.

Switzerland: Trade balance (Feb.): 3.31 Bn CHF (prior: 4.85Bn)

  • Real exports were down by 2.7% m/m after 2.6% m/m the prior month; real imports were down by 0.5% m/m after 0.1% m/m past month.

Poland: Retail sales (Feb.): -3.6% m/m vs 0.8% expected (prior: -23.2% revised from -23.1%)

  • Sales have contracted further over the month; auto sales were up (8.6% m/m) but sales in other sectors were negative, driven by falling sales for clothes and household goods.