WASHINGTON (8/27/13)--Orders for U.S. durable goods declined sharply in July, with weak business spending and a declining demand for aircraft indicating growth in manufacturing will be slow and suggesting head winds for the economy in the third quarter (The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg.com and The New York Times Aug. 26).
Orders for items manufactured to last three years or more fell 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted $226.6 billion--the most since August 2012--after a 3.9% gain in June, the Commerce Department said Monday.
Manufacturing--which constitutes roughly 12% of the U.S. economy--is being restrained by lingering federal government spending cuts and struggling markets abroad, Bloomberg said.
If demand for automobiles and housing can be sustained and labor-market improvement continues, manufacturing production is likely to pick up in the second half of 2013, Bloomberg added.
Based on data, the fiscal drag will continue and growth will remain moderate, Michael Gapen, senior U.S. economist at Barclays Plc in New York, told Bloomberg. He added that the current economic environment is highly uncertain.