Monday, August 29, 2011

Economic Week in Review

Consumer Spending: consumer sentiment moved slightly higher in the last two weeks of the month, rising from 54.9 to 55.7. However, it's important to remember this reading is still extremely low and has been for the duration of the latest expansion, indicating consumers are still deeply concerned about the state of the economy.

Manufacturing: durable goods increased 4%, ex-transport, orders were up .7%. Non-defense capital goods were up 2.4%. This report runs counter to the recent regional manufacturing surveys, all of which have been weaker. For example, the Richmond Fed's regional manufacturing index further contracts, moving from a -1 reading to -10.

Real Estate: New home sales dropped .7%, which also included a downward revision to the June number. This was another bad report from the real estate sector, as the recent existing home sales figures were also weak.

The general tenor of the economic news releases continues to be bad. The consumer is under extreme pressure, manufacturing (one of the primary drivers of this expansion) is weakening and real estate is still bouncing along the bottom.