[Marxism] Widely Proclaimed Uptick
sartesian at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 2 07:38:04 MDT 2009
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 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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