There was disappointing growth news from the US as orders for long-lasting manufactured goods suffered their biggest drop in nearly a year in July.
Demand for items ranging from toasters to aircraft fell with a total decline of 7.3 percent.
Partly that was because of a fall in aircraft orders to Boeing that month, but non-defence capital goods orders – excluding aircraft – slid 3.3 percent, having risen for the previous four months. That statistic is seen as a good indicator of business spending plans,
At the same time a gauge of planned business spending on capital goods tumbled.
The latest data coincide with a slowdown in residential construction
and new home sales.
“While the decline in the headline reading was not a major surprise, the weak detail of the report casts doubt over the previously improving outlook for business investment,” said Andrew Grantham, an economist at CIBC World Markets in Toronto.
All of these statistics are being closely monitored by the Federal Reserve as policymakers decide when to start winding down monetary stimulus.