The highly valued University of Michigan Consumer Confidence report is set to be released tomorrow 17 January 2014. The report will detail the confidence levels of American consumers that have been measured during the current month. At this time, many experts believe that the report will show a slight rise in the level of confidence from the public in the state of the US economy.
Analysts remind readers that the Michigan report is closely watched by experts due to the fact that it has a much faster turn around period than the official government issued report, thus providing observers with a more timely picture of the state of the economy at this time.
Analysts assess that in general, satisfaction and confidence in the economy appears to be rising. This is primarily due to the increase in the number of jobs added over the past few months. While it should be noted that the employment figures for the month of December 2013 came in way under expectations, the months previous had succeeded in generating impressive growth in the job pool. As a result of the November 2013 expansion of employment, the overall unemployment rate was brought down to the lowest level in years. As consumer confidence is closely related to their feelings of job security, any shifts in this statistic can be crucial.
Traders are advised to watch for shifts in the value of the USD in the week following the release of this report.
British Housing Prices Reach High
It was reported on 16 January 2014 that the housing index in the United Kingdom had risen to their highest levels since 2002. This report is yet another indicator of the respectable growth in the British economy as it continues to rebound from the recession. Numerous reports have emerged in recent months bolstering the claims that the situation there is improving.
Analysts point to two important factors that should be considered in analyzing the housing price index report. Firstly, the fact that there is a decrease in the supply of housing is a major element that is affecting the prices. As supply goes down, prices will naturally rise. However, this in turn can help to create more jobs as it will lead to a growth in construction to meet demand. The second aspect to consider is that this report points to the impressive recovery that is being enjoyed in the UK. The increased demand for new housing points to an improved economic situation wherein buyers are able to purchase new houses, and at higher asking prices. This means that they are more confident in their job security and future earning potential.
Investors are advised to watch for increases in the value of the pound against its rival currencies in the coming days in the wake of this report.
Libyan Oil Reemerges on Market, Depressing Prices
A peaceful resolution between protesters and government negotiators is reported to have helped kickstart production at one of Libya`s biggest oil fields, resulting in lower prices on crude in trading. According to reports, a group of protesters had threatened to hamper production efforts at the Sharara oil field in the western area of the North African country. However, a leader from the group announced that the government proposed compromise met their demands, and that they would back down on their intentions to block the production.
The addition of lower tensions over violence have helped to ameliorate the situation there, making it more conducive to business development. Current estimates state that output levels now stand at three times last month`s rate. Analysts note that the influence of the return of Libyan oil to the global market is already being felt. Prices in London are reported to be up and the West Texas Intermediate energy market experienced losses despite a new Energy Information Administration report declaring that American stockpiles had fallen from previously believed levels, allowing a short lived spike in prices yesterday 15 January 2014.
Analysts believe that energy markets including the WTI will likely face volatile days ahead as the market attempts to find a balance following the return of significant exports out of Libya and the shifting reports emerging from the government and industry agencies.