US business spending has a slight pulse, but that’s not saying much

September 25, 2013
September 25, 2013

The US durable goods report—which tracks orders of goods intended to last three years or more—contains one of the more closely-watched gauges on US business spending. New orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 1.5% in August partially reversing a 3.3% decline in July. The measure tracks capital goods—like large machinery for factories—that companies buy to upgrade or expand their plants.

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That’s a notable improvement, but certainly not a roaring revival of business spending. Meanwhile, any fiscal chicanery in Washington DC could very easily spook businesses and lead them to put off investment plans.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly said the durable goods numbers were for October. They were August numbers.

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