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Biggest Eyeopener This Week For Manufacturing: Durable Goods Orders DeclineOctober 4, 2012
Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, analyzes weekly economic trends.
Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, said the biggest eye-opener this week for manufacturers is a decline in orders of durable goods. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, durable goods dropped by 13.2 percent in August – one indicator that slowing sales are “continuing to hurt manufacturers,” according to Moutray’s weekly economic report for the association.
Moutray analyzes weekly economic indicators and reports them each Monday. This week’s report looked at the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, new home sales and durable goods reports, among other factors.
The economic signs generated the following conclusions, as stated in Moutray’s report this week:
- Fewer new transportation orders contributed to the decrease in durable goods, but declines in sales, particularly for aircraft, were “fairly broad-based.”
- The slowdown in manufacturing activity contributed to a decline in the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s National Activity Index.
- The Chicago Business Barometer showed a contraction for the first time since 2009.
- Latest data and surveys indicate weaknesses in the economic environment.
The economic indicators – the slowdown in activity and weak sales, particularly – contribute to manufacturers’ uncertainty, the report states. But consumer feelings appear to have improved if judging by confidence surveys released last week. But Moutray points to a nationwide survey of small businesses and manufacturers, conducted by the association, that might reveal otherwise. According to the poll, 55 percent of small business owners, manufacturers and decision-makers surveyed said the national economy is worse than it was three years ago.
But what will this week’s reports on jobs and manufacturing reveal? Will events such as Friday’s National Manufacturing Day change the public perception about manufacturing?