Demand for Durable Goods Down in March

It looked like manufacturing in the United States cooled at the end of the first quarter. One of the most recent indicators is the slump of the demand for durable goods in March. It went down the most in seven months. Durable Goods

Orders for merchandise meant to last at least three years dropped 5.7 percent after a revised 4.3 gain the previous month. This is according to the report released by the Commerce Department. Companies are feeling the pinch as consumers limit their spending on inventories and equipment due to the concern about the across the board federal cuts and slower growth overseas. These factors could slow down the world’s largest economy. The good news is that housing and auto sectors experienced gains. These support the economy’s continued expansion.

Most stocks increased and extended the rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a fourth straight day. This was attributed to companies such as Apple and Boeing that reported earnings. The S&P 500 went up less than 0.1 percent to 1,579.79.

Orders data saw a decline in the first quarter of 2013 after increasing 11.8 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2012. Economists said that it was due to the rising trend from a rare summer the previous year. Spending on software and equipment declined 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2012, which was the last time people were concerned about global growth.

Europe is showing little progress of emerging from a recession. German business confidence went down in April for the second straight month as winter weather hindered the recovery of Europe’s largest economy.

The average forecast of 78 economists polled by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent decline for orders of durable goods in March. Estimates ranged from a drop of 6 percent to a gain of 1 percent.