Regional surveys issued by the federal reserve banks in Dallas, Kansas City, and Richmond, Virginia, each report increases in new orders and production in August, and positive expectations for demand, output, hiring and capital spending for the next six months, according to the Sept. 2 National Association of Manufacturers Monday Economic Report.
New durable goods orders increased by 22.6% in July. This huge increase was attributed to sales of non-defense aircraft. Excluding transportation, the broader manufacturing sector was soft, with orders actually falling by 0.8% for the month.
In terms of consumer sentiment, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reported that consumer confidence is at its highest point since October 2007, but that consumers have lingering concerns about employment and income growth. Consumers appear to be cautious, with personal spending declining in July for the first time since January–although retail sales have increased at an annualized rate of 4.1% during the past 6 months. Real GDP growth during the second quarter was at an annualized rate of 4.2%.
Based on current conditions, NAM forecasts GDP growth of approximately 3% during the second half of 2014. Read the full Monday Economic Report.
This story is reprinted from the Sept. 3 “ISPA Insider,” a weekly news bulletin distributed to members of the International Sleep Products Association.