The US released its durable goods orders for the month of February coming in at showing a negative reading of 1.7% much lower than it was expected at 0.8% and higher than the 5.3%. Also the Durable Goods Ex Transportation also came in for the month of February at -2.6% lower than both the projected reading of -0.3% and the prior reading of -1.6%.
Led by machinery and capital goods, this decline came the second in a row showing that demand is slowing heavily as the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday. Durables can be seen as a measure to the level of confidence consumers actually have in the economy and since yesterday's data showed that confidence has diminished to a 35 year low, today's data also assures the fact that faith is gone!
Orders for capital goods fell 2.6% in February compared to the 1.8% drop in January while machinery orders hit a record low as it slumped 13.3% not even taking into consideration the 5.4% increase in civilian aircraft orders. As for the shipment of these durable goods, they slipped 2.8% marking the largest drop since September 2006. Also, shipments of semiconductors fell 31% and shipments of electronics dropped 10.3%.
With orders weakening, it was only logical to see inventories rise and this month it rose at a rate of 0.5%. Although this data is volatile and pretty much unstable, analysts use it as a leading indicator for growth. In this case, the growth of the U.S., the world's largest economy, is as people predict and see. Nothing will change and the growth will continue to slowdown.
In another report by the Commerce Department, new home sales in the U.S. fell to a 13 year low in February as it dropped by 1.3% to 590,000 after January's reading was revised to the upside to 601,000 from 588,000. This marks the fourth straight decline in sales.
Inventories fell by 2.1% to 471,000 being the lowest since July 2005. This level represents a 9.8 month supply at the February sales rate still the highest since 1981. As for the number of completed homes for sale, they also declined for the second straight month to 188,000 in February dragging median prices down to $244,000.
Two of the four regions showed slacking sales as the Northeast region's sales shrunk 40% from 62,000 in January to 37,000 in February. The Midwest sales also declined to 73,000 from 78,000 the previous month. The other two regions, the South and West, showed slight improvement this month.
Even with all the testimonies today by the central banks' governors in the Euro Zone and U.K., the greenback was unable to do anything as the trend remains a deteriorating dollar. The data from the U.S. offset any words coming out the mouths of these officials and might stay like that for quite sometime as growth is threatenedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦maybe the words of Mr. Donald Kohen might actually be correct!