Manufacturing Activity Eases in July on Soft Demand
Economic headwinds buffeted U.S. manufacturing into contraction in July. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, new orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 7.3 percent on the month to $226.6 billion. The decline was led by a tremendous 19.4 percent contraction in new orders for transportation equipment to $69.7 billion.
Excluding transportation orders, which are often volatile, new orders decreased just 0.6 percent, a much more moderate though still unexpected decline. Economists were forecasting an increase of 0.3 percent for the month.
The evaporation of demand in July follows three months of new orders growth, although most of the previous increases were led by gains in orders for transportation equipment. On the year, total new orders are down 0.3 percent, and new orders excluding transportation are up 5.9 percent.