Today the Census Bureau released the Durable Goods report for March which showed a 5.7 percent decrease. This is yet another sign that the U.S. manufacturing sector remains weak, suggesting that growth is very modest at best.
Much of the decline in March was in the aircraft sector. But, even when you exclude transportation, new orders fell 1.4 percent. New durable goods orders were down mostly across the board, with the exception of motor vehicles and computers and electronics.
In a repeat similar to last year manufacturing seems to be slowing. Businesses are still very concerned about the impact of sequestration as well as slowing global growth. Clearly Washington’s policies are having an impact on the economy as we see from today’s report.
Chad Moutray is chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.