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First Quarter 2016 Economic Indicators

First Quarter 2016 Economic Indicators

Consumer confidence was relatively strong in 2015, but it took a downward turn toward the end of last year that has carried into 2016. This resulted in a decrease of more than 5 percent in the consumer confidence index in the first quarter of 2016.

Trends Chart1“Consumers’ short-term outlook grew more pessimistic, with consumers expressing greater apprehension about business conditions, their personal financial situation, and to a lesser degree, labor market prospects,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

In March 2016, the Purchasing Managers’ Index was above 50 for the first time since September, meaning the manufacturing industry is expanding again. Prior to this, the index had posted readings below 50, which were seen between October 2015 and February 2016.
Trends Chart2

About Sara Logel

Sara Logel
As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.