USA (March 2004)
US consumer sentiment declined marginally in March, according to the closely watched index from the Conference Board.
    The overall measure of consumer confidence slipped from 88.5 in February to 88.3, though this fall was far less severe than analysts expected. The present situation subindex climbed from 83.3 to 84.1, but the gauge of future expectations dropped from 91.9 to 91.0.
    Lynn Franco, director of the Board's Consumer Research Center, warned that despite improving business conditions, the weak employment market is making Americans "less optimistic about the short-term outlook."

Japan (February 2004)
Japanese industrial production slipped 3.7% in February according to latest government data, undoing a 3.3% rise in January.
    But despite the slide, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry remains upbeat about the months ahead. Early signs suggest output will edge up by 0.5% in March, then rocket 4.2% in April.

UK (March 2004)
British consumer confidence slipped slightly in March, according to a monthly report by Martin Hamblin GfK.
    The sentiment index dipped one point to minus three, attributed to a rise in interest rates the month before and anxiety following the Madrid bombings. The gauge of consumers intending to make major purchases tumbled from -4 to -9, while the measure of those planning to save money shot to +15, its highest for three years.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff