(Image: Bloomberg)

BY DAVID EARL

Two bellweather indicators out Tuesday tell two very different tales about the state of the U.S. economy. CNBC sums up the first of these — durable goods.

“The survey says? Down four, down four percent on headline durable goods this is much worse than what we were anticipating, we were looking for 1, 1-and-a-half percent.”

Durable goods are the things you buy and keep for a while. The New York times points outs...

“...orders for long-lasting manufacturing goods [were] down in January by the largest amount in three years.”

So homeowners are buying fewer toasters, TVs, and washing machines. A Fox News guest says that’s not good for a key part of the economy.

“When you start you start thinking of durable goods, that serves as a proxy for real estate so you start looking at the housing sector, that continues to be stagnant.”

If durable goods were ying, this second report is the yang: new numbers show consumer confidence is up. Forbes reports the number is 9 points higher than most economists expected. The business magazine notes...

“Since consumer spending accounts for some 70% of a nation’s economy, observers pay careful attention to confidence as a proxy for future spending.”

But Fox Business is quick to point out— while the consumer confidence number may be higher than expected, it’s not necessarily good.

“The index on consumer attitudes climbed to 70.8, but it’s still a reading below what would indicate a healthy economy.”

The mish-mash of good and bad economic news didn’t seem to phase the markets Tuesday. The Dow closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008.

 

Orders Fall, Confidence Rises: A Tale of Two Economies?

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Feb 29, 2012

Orders Fall, Confidence Rises: A Tale of Two Economies?

 

(Image: Bloomberg)

BY DAVID EARL

Two bellweather indicators out Tuesday tell two very different tales about the state of the U.S. economy. CNBC sums up the first of these — durable goods.

“The survey says? Down four, down four percent on headline durable goods this is much worse than what we were anticipating, we were looking for 1, 1-and-a-half percent.”

Durable goods are the things you buy and keep for a while. The New York times points outs...

“...orders for long-lasting manufacturing goods [were] down in January by the largest amount in three years.”

So homeowners are buying fewer toasters, TVs, and washing machines. A Fox News guest says that’s not good for a key part of the economy.

“When you start you start thinking of durable goods, that serves as a proxy for real estate so you start looking at the housing sector, that continues to be stagnant.”

If durable goods were ying, this second report is the yang: new numbers show consumer confidence is up. Forbes reports the number is 9 points higher than most economists expected. The business magazine notes...

“Since consumer spending accounts for some 70% of a nation’s economy, observers pay careful attention to confidence as a proxy for future spending.”

But Fox Business is quick to point out— while the consumer confidence number may be higher than expected, it’s not necessarily good.

“The index on consumer attitudes climbed to 70.8, but it’s still a reading below what would indicate a healthy economy.”

The mish-mash of good and bad economic news didn’t seem to phase the markets Tuesday. The Dow closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008.

 

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