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?

3 comments:

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...)
Cheerio.

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 :)