US: Business confidence losing momentum – ABN AMRO
Han de Jong, chief economist of ABN AMRO, points out that the global business confidence weakened in the course of the past year with the exception of the US.
“The tax reform and tax cuts provided stimulus to the US economy that translated in accelerating growth and continued high business confidence. No more, or so it seems. The long-standing index of US business confidence, the ISM index, took a tumble in December, falling from 59.3 to 54.1. That is still a level indicating decent growth, but it was the biggest monthly drop since 2008 (though the drop was from a much higher level than in 2008).”
“Earlier released regional indices had provided a warning. Most of them had fallen materially in December, but in several cases the accompanying commentary suggested that the falls would not be replicated in the ISM due to methodological differences. That turned out to be incorrect. It must be said, many indicators continue to suggest that the US economy is growing robustly.”