[Marxism] Widely Proclaimed Uptick

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 2 07:38:04 MDT 2009

New Orders

New orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased $7.8 billion or 
4.9 percent to $168.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This 
was the third increase in the last four months and the largest percent 
increase since July 2007. This followed a 1.3 percent June decrease. 
Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.8 percent. Excluding 
defense, new orders increased 4.3 percent.


Shipments of manufactured durable goods in July, up two consecutive months, 
increased $3.5 billion or 2.0 percent to $173.1 billion. This followed a 0.7 
percent June increase.

Unfilled Orders

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in July, down ten consecutive 
months, decreased $0.4 billion or 0.1 percent to $740.2 billion. This was 
the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was 
first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.8 percent June 


Inventories of manufactured durable goods in July, down seven consecutive 
months, decreased $2.7 billion or 0.8 percent to $314.1 billion. This 
followed a 1.5 percent June decrease.


Today's Wall Street Journal and Financial Times have lead stories about the 
recovery in manufacturing being stronger than expected and indicating an end 
to the overall contraction.   WSJ reports manufacturing gains in US, China, 
France, and Australia, with the pace of contraction in Germany and other 
nations slowing.  In the US, the August 09 Institute of Supply Management 
survey index of purchasing manager crossed into positive territory [>50] for 
the first time in 19 months.

Still, the numbers are not unequivocal, to say the least.  Kansas City Fed 
reported manufacturing in the 10th District as still depressed.  And the 
unfilled orders, and steady decline in inventories seems to belie the ISM 
survey of purchasing managers.  Quite possible of course that manufacturers 
are "just in timing" their just-in-time orders, working down inventories 
wherever possible and producing goods only on month-to-month orders.  This 
seems to fit with the decline in unfilled orders.

So...being the well known pessimist that I am, defeatist actually when it 
comes to the capacity of the bourgeoisie anywhere to "make a nation 
stronger,"  or to benefit "both" workers and capitalists,  I think the boost 
in the US, looking at the new orders in transportation, is probably a 
"one-off" event based on the 'cash for clunkers' deals. 

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