The somewhat disappointing economic data from the US has increased specualtion that further interest rate hikes will be delayed. American consumers only increased their spending by 0.1% in February. In addition, the data from January had to be revised and was less than originally expected. In total, the data shows a definite slowdown of the US economy to start the year 2016. Despite the booming labor market, the FED will probably wait for the time being and observe how the economy develops before making any new interest rate hikes.
Consumer Confidence is calculated through a survey of 5,000 American households. Its intent is to determine the current confidence under the present economic circumstances the view of the US citizens regarding future economic development. A high level of Consumer Confidence is generally connected with increased consumption, which when sustained can lead to increases in inflation. Private consumption is the largest economic factor in the US, it makes up nearly 50% of the total economic output. For this reason, any change in Consumer Confidence is closely monitored.
VW shareholders may not receive a dividend in 2016. While nothing is official, whether or not a dividend will be paid in 2016 depends on just how much VW will have to pay as a result of the exhaust scandal. THe last dividends paid out by VW were €1.50 per preference share and €0.50 per ordinary share.