Orders for long-lasting US factory goods plunge - FOX 13 News

Orders for long-lasting US factory goods plunge

Posted: Updated:

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell sharply last month as demand for commercial aircraft plummeted and businesses spent less on computers and electrical equipment.

The Commerce Department said Monday that orders for durable goods plunged 7.3 percent in July, the steepest drop in nearly a year. Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders fell just 0.6 percent. Both declines followed three straight monthly increases.

Durable goods are items meant to last at least three years. The drop suggests manufacturing continues to struggle after starting the year weak.

Economists focus on orders for so-called core capital goods, which exclude volatile aircraft and defense orders. Spending in that category fell 3.3 percent. But that followed four straight months of gains.

One bright spot is that unfilled orders, which were placed in previous months but yet to be shipped, rose to their highest level since records began in 1992. That suggests output could remain steady in the coming months, despite the weak month of orders in July.

Manufacturing has slumped this year, hurt by weakness overseas that has dragged on U.S. exports. But there have been signs that factory activity could pick up in the second half of the year.

Europe finally emerged from recession in the spring. And in June, U.S. exports rose to an all-time high.

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said factory activity expanded in July at the fastest pace in two years. Companies hired more workers and new orders surged, both signs that output should rise in the coming months.

Factory production slipped in July, according to the Federal Reserve. But that followed two months of increases. And July's 0.1 percent decline reflected a slowdown in auto output, which will likely be temporary.

The economy expanded at just a 1.7 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. Most economists expect that figure will revised up to a 2.2 percent annual rate, mostly because of the jump in June exports. The government issues its second estimate for second-quarter growth on Thursday.

Most analysts predict growth may pick up to about a 2.5 percent annual rate in the second half of the year. They note that steady job growth should fuel more consumer spending and the impact of higher taxes and government spending cuts are likely to fade.

AP-WF-08-26-13 1248GMT

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Glamsquad app

    Hair and makeup house call

    Hair and makeup house call

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:27:35 GMT
    A new app is bringing the star treatment to the masses. Glamsquad delivers a hair and makeup artist to your doorstep.I invited them over to my place. Kelly did my makeup and Erin styled my mane. They helped me select a look from examples on the app and they encouraged me to tweak the looks to fit my style.
    A new app is bringing the star treatment to the masses. Glamsquad delivers a hair and makeup artist to your doorstep.I invited them over to my place. Kelly did my makeup and Erin styled my mane. They helped me select a look from examples on the app and they encouraged me to tweak the looks to fit my style.
  • Passing on your online accounts after you die

    Passing on your online accounts after you die

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:07:19 GMT
    Your Facebook page or email could soon be passed on in a will just like physical property. Delaware is the first state to allow heirs access to their loved ones' digital legacies. Pedram Tabibi, a social media attorney, says in many cases this can be vital information, like banking and health data. He says current terms and conditions for websites such as Apple, Amazon, and Google won't let an account get passed onto someone else.
    Your Facebook page or email could soon be passed on in a will just like physical property. Delaware is the first state to allow heirs access to their loved ones' digital legacies. Pedram Tabibi, a social media attorney, says in many cases this can be vital information, like banking and health data. He says current terms and conditions for websites such as Apple, Amazon, and Google won't let an account get passed onto someone else.
  • Potential buyer looks at Showboat Casino

    Potential buyer looks at Showboat Casino

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 3:05 PM EDT2014-08-26 19:05:43 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment is showing the soon-to-close Showboat Casino Hotel to "an interested party," but won't say who it is.Company spokesman Gary Thompson told The Associated Press that Caesars officials were showing the Showboat on Tuesday to a party that had expressed interest.
    Caesars Entertainment is showing the soon-to-close Showboat Casino Hotel to "an interested party," but won't say who it is.Company spokesman Gary Thompson told The Associated Press that Caesars officials were showing the Showboat on Tuesday to a party that had expressed interest.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices