Orders for durable goods, one indicator of the strength of the economy, suffered their biggest drop in three years.
New orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell in January by the most in three years as demand fell across the board from machinery to aircraft, suggesting the economy started the year on weaker footing than expected.
Economists had forecast orders falling 1.0 percent.Durable goods orders dropped 4.0 percent, the biggest drop since January 2009 when the country was still mired in a deep recession, according to Commerce Department data on Tuesday.
Durable goods range from toasters to big-ticket items like aircraft which are meant to last three years and more.
Excluding transportation, orders fell 3.2 percent. Economists had expected that reading to be flat. Machinery orders dropped 10.4 percent, the largest decline since January 2009.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for future business investment, fell 4.5 percent, the steepest drop in a year.
A 6.1 percent drop in bookings for transportation equipment — including a 19 percent fall in civilian aircraft orders — dragged on the overall reading for durable goods.
This must be a strange happenstance for Obama and the rest of his ACME Economic Destruction Co., as just 10 days ago he was touting the strength of the economic recovery in a speech at a Boeing plant:
“The tide is beginning to turn our way,” he said. “Over the last 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million new jobs. And American manufacturers are hiring for the first time since 1990. And the American auto industry is back. And our economy is getting stronger.”
I expect cluelessness and incompetence will continue to guide the administration’s economic policy moves, until the bums are voted out in November.