Another pin to pop the Fed’s recovery bubble: Durable goods orders down -1.4% in February vs. a consensus estimate of +0.2. All major categories declined. In context, the numbers look pretty dreadful. In nominal terms, nondefense cap goods and durable orders ex-aircraft are back down to the 2008 peak, which means a signficant drop after inflation. Especially striking is the drop in consumer goods orders. The oil price drop hasn’t done much for consumer goods orders. The US economy is firing on no cylinders. With a rising dollar, U.S. export orders will shrink within an overall shrinkage in dollar volume of world trade. Consumers are saving rather than spending the oil windfall. And the oil bust has crushed capital investment.
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