The only noteworthy data on the domestic economy released this morning is a report from the Census Bureau which showed that new orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods (items meant to last at least three years) edged lower in August by $0.1 billion to $226.9 billion. That was much better than the 1.9 percent decline economists had expected but still the second monthly decline in a row and the July gain was revised lower from 4.4 percent to 3.6 percent. Core durable goods orders, which exclude the volatile transportation component, also slid in August (-0.4 percent) and as a result have fallen by 1.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. That is the 20th month in a row and annual declines and a pattern rarely seen outside of a recession. On the bright side, orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, i.e. core capital expenditures, rose by 0.6 percent in August, the third consecutive monthly improvement and perhaps an encouraging sign that the decline in business investment is slowly starting to wane. However, July’s 1.5 percent gain in core cap-ex was slashed to just 0.8 percent, and shipments of core capital goods, which are used in the government's calculation of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), fell 0.4 percent in August versus expectations for a 0.1 percent gain.
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, ZH, U.S. Census Bureau, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch