Small increase and still down from year end levels, still very low historically, real sales- what matters most- were down:
The Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.7 points from March to 96.9, this in spite of a quarter of virtually no economic growth. Unfortunately, the Index remained below the January reading. Nine of the 10 Index components gained, only real sales expectations were weaker. But this still leaves the Index below its historical average, oscillating between 95 and 98 but never breaking out except for December, when the Index just tipped past 100, only to fall again.
Debt balances not growing:
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report revealed that aggregate household debt balances were largely flat in the first quarter of 2015. As of the end of March, total household indebtedness was $11.85 trillion, a $24 billion, or 0.2 percent, increase during the first quarter of this year. The report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.
The slowdown in growth can be attributed to a negligible uptick in mortgage balances, which are the largest component of household debt. Mortgage balances stood at $8.17 trillion in the first quarter. Additionally, balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC), which were $510 billion at the end of fourth quarter, 2014, were unchanged in the first quarter of this year.
Non-housing debt balances increased by 0.7 percent from the end of last year, largely due to increases in student loans ($32 billion) and auto loans ($13 billion). These gains were partially offset by a $16 billion decline in credit card balances.
I seem to recall something going very wrong after this happened in 2008?