MONDAY, June 25, 2012 - Confidence is dropping among those who help firms finance and lease new and used equipment. A measure of optimism about current business conditions and future economic trends among executives in the industry sank to 48.5 in June from 59.2 in May — the second lowest level since January 2010. Firms are worried about Europe’s troubles, U.S. unemployment and political uncertainty.
WEDNESDAY, June 27, 2012 - Consumers are becoming less confident about the economy. After dropping sharply last summer, the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence rebounded in late 2011 and early 2012 as job growth accelerated. That momentum has since stalled, however, and confidence in June fell for the third consecutive month, to its lowest level since January.
WEDNESDAY, March 21, 2012 - Builders broke ground on fewer homes in February than in January, but overall housing starts are on the rise. Residential construction fell 1.1% last month from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 starts. January’s rate was revised up to 706,000 — the best reading since October 2008. Permits for new construction, an indication of future activity, climbed to their highest level since October 2008.