The Wilder View

Global surveys tell similar stories: confidence is improving

Taken separately, one can find many reasons not to rely on survey results, especially those from consumers. But put them together, and global survey results indicate that economic stabilization is afoot.

The chart illustrates consumer and business climate survey results through April 2009 for Japan and the Eurozone and through May 2009 for Germany and the US. The indices are normalized to 1995 for comparison. Except for the Eurozone, which saw its first improvement in economic sentiment since May 2007, the indices have been improving for several months now, with the US showing a sizable increase in May. Here are some highlights:
From the US Conference Board’s measure of consumer confidence:

Continued gains in the Present Situation Index indicate that current conditions have moderately improved, and growth in the second quarter is likely to be less negative than in the first. Looking ahead, consumers are considerably less pessimistic than they were earlier this year, and expectations are that business conditions, the labor market and incomes will improve in the coming months.

From the European Commission’s Economic Sentiment results:

The rebound in the ESI resulted from a clear improvement in sentiment in industry and among consumers, which in both regions rose by the same amount (3 points), and a smaller increase in services (+1 point in both regions).

From the German Ifo Business Climate survey:

Although the firms have again assessed their current business situation more unfavourably than in the previous month, they have given clearly fewer poor assessments of their six-month business outlook. This points to a gradual stabilisation of economic output at a low level.

Green shoots, yellow weeds, of course there is a plethora of economic issues with which to worry. However, the business cycle is likely approaching a trough in key economies.

Originally published at News N Economics and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

One Response to “Global surveys tell similar stories: confidence is improving”

GuestMay 29th, 2009 at 12:07 am

Let us be sentimentalUNThe worldwide number of unemployed by the end of the year will range between 209.6 million and 239 million, the agency said in an update to its annual Global Employment Trends report.This compares with 180.2 million at the end of 2007 and some 188.6 million at the end of 2008, ILO said.Japan 5 PctEurope 8 PctUSA 8 PctRussia 12Pct

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