The Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) also publishes its own survey for businesses.
Consumer confidence remains historically elevated, though it tumbled in early 2019 as a result of the lengthy government shutdown. Meanwhile, the OECD’s business confidence index dipped below 100 for the first time since 2016, which indicates that businesses are starting to feel pessimistic about future performance. It can be important if confidence slides, but mostly for the longer term, says Ryan Sweet, director of real-time economics at Moody’s Analytics.
Bloomberg also has its own consumer comfort index published weekly.
Deeper within the report is what some economists say is a leading indicator: the number of hours worked. When the economy slows, businesses are getting worried about future sales,” Sweet says.
“The first thing they cut are hours.” Temporary help is another good measure, Sweet says.
“The relationship between confidence and spending is pretty loose in the short run,” Sweet says.
The day the monthly jobs report is released is often economists’ favorite day of the month.
Seconds later, however, it looks like there could be trouble.
employers created new positions at a healthy pace in July, adding 164,000 workers while the unemployment rate held at a near half-century low.
“The yield curve is positive sloping – most of the time.” When the yield curve inverts, however, the curve becomes downward sloping.
This inversion means investors are demanding a higher yield for Treasuries of shorter durations.
13 for the first time since 2007, with the two-year yield surpassing the 10-year yield by one basis point. 14 reached an all-time low of 2.053 percent, on fears about a sustained economic slowdown. The tit-for-tat nature of the trade war has firms feeling uncertain about the future. “When you have businesses and consumers who feel less confident about the future, they have a lower propensity to spend.