ARLINGTON, Va. -- The July durable goods report, combined with other recent data, suggests that the U.S. and world economies are beginning a slow, uncertain recovery, according to Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI economist Cliff Waldman.
"Excluding the volatile transportation category, total new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods were up less than 1 percent, continuing a string of modest advances that are now leading to more positive manufacturing production activity as inventories are brought into line with the still weak realities of market demand," Waldman said.
Waldman adds that industry data for July has been mixed, noting positive activity in primary and fabricated metals, but a sizable decline in machinery demand.
“Disappointingly, new orders for non-defense capital goods, excluding aircraft, a proxy for business equipment spending, slipped a bit after two strong months and remains more than 20 percent below year-ago levels,” he added. “U.S. and global activity has stabilized and financial conditions have improved modestly. But business decision makers are going to have to see firmer and more consistent evidence of a return to the type of economic conditions that will produce solid profits before they are willing to more consistently strengthen their investment commitments and add capacity.”