Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lies And Headli(n)es

Today's release of durable goods orders numbers for September was greeted by the following headline over at Bloomberg: US Durable Goods Orders Rise Fourth Time in Six Months in Recovery Sign.

OK, so what are the numbers? Orders increased by a seasonally adjusted 1% from August - not exactly a bonanza, but OK in these hard times - one would think. Not so fast..
  • First of all, August numbers were revised down from -2.4% to -2.6%, so the rise is smaller than it seems.
  • Secondly, only two categories accounted for the entire $1.61 billion increase in orders: machinery with a gain of $1.7 billion (+7.9%) and defense aircraft with $618 million. (+12.5%).
  • Just about everything else was down for the month: civilian aircraft (-2.1%), motor vehicles (-0.1%), computers and electronics (-0.2%), electrical equipment (-0.9%), all others (-1.4%). Metals were flat (+0.09%).
Looking at the two positive categories: machinery orders year-to-date are down a steep 29% vs. 2008, even after last month's rise. So, it's not surprising to see a blip up; things like machine tools do wear out. As for defense aircraft... two wars says it all.

After all that is considered, I think the headline is a bit misleading, won't you say?


Debra said...

Yeah, well, history would tell us that the writing has been on the wall since LBJ launched the... WAR on poverty at least...
Since... when I'm not a missionary I am an ad woman, Hell, I thought you would be interested in my most recent post on your spin off : it's called... our "civilization" is flushing itself down the toilet and speaks to certain of your... ahem.. GREEN concerns. (I promise I will NOT do this often, and in all fairness it is because it is a GREEN post...)

Joe said...

Smoke and mirrors from US Empire disinfo central.

US Empire proudly serves the top 1% elite as they gather most of the wealth unto themselves.

Don't look now but that makes everybody else mere wage slaves.

Joe M.

Greenie said...

"After all that is considered, I think the headline is a bit misleading, won't you say?"

I have rarely encountered a headline from financial media that is not misleading :)