March orders for durable goods orders rose at highest level in 7 months
Orders for long-lasting durable goods posted the biggest increase in March since last summer, rising by 2.7 percent, and potentially signaling a rebound in the slower-growing industrial side of the economy. Even if cars and planes are stripped out, orders rose a smaller but still solid 0.4%.
Gallup: April economic confidence index slips back to +21
Americans’ confidence in the economy dipped in March and April after surging in February, shortly after the end of the latest government shutdown. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is now +21, down from the post-shutdown spike to +32. Confidence remains higher than it was during the shutdown, in early January, but is still not back to the +30 or higher level found through much of 2018.
March Investor Confidence Index edged up 0.4 points to 71.3
Although the State Street Investor Confidence did gain 0.4 points in March to 71.3, that’s still low by recent historical standards (it was over 115 last April). Reasons given for the pessimism include continuing uncertainty about a potentially hard Brexit, a breakdown in US-China trade talks, and possible populist wins during European Parliament elections next month.