As you digest these figures, keep in mind that we were already experiencing the worst economic 'recovery' since the Great Depression -- featuring "feeble growth, exhausted consumers, a jobs hole and shrinking paychecks." And now there's this:
New orders for manufactured durable goods in August decreased $30.1 billion or 13.2 percent to $198.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease, down following three consecutive monthly increases, was the largest decrease since January 2009 and followed a 3.3 percent July increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1.6 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 12.4 percent. Transportation equipment, down following four consecutive monthly increases, had the largest decrease, $27.8 billion or 34.9 percent to $51.9 billion.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods in August decreased $18.5 billion or 24.3 percent to $57.7 billion. Shipments decreased $1.2 billion or 1.7 percent to $69.5 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $11.9 billion or 2.0 percent to $580.5 billion. Inventories increased $1.5 billion or 0.9 percent to $171.9 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in August decreased $4.1 billion or 40.1 percent to $6.1 billion. Shipments decreased $0.1 billion or 1.7 percent to $8.1 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $2.0 billion or 1.2 percent to $165.6 billion. Inventories increased $0.4 billion or 1.8 percent to $21.4 billion.
In case you've forgotten (and how could you? The president mentions this every five minutes), January 2009 was during the teeth of the crisis, when our economy was in severe recession. We're moving backwards, not "forward." A few additional notes from Ed Morrissey:
Unfilled orders — the “backlog” on which every manufacturer relies for continuity and security — also dropped by 1.7%, the largest drop since December 2009 ... Inventories, however, rose by 0.6%, which indicates that demand is perhaps even worse than this report would indicate.
Meanwhile, as Katie notes, our economic growth rate has been revised downward from an already pathetic, stagnation-level number. The government had originally estimated that GDP grew by a measly 1.7 percent in the second quarter. In its final assessment, that figure has slumped to 1.25 percent:
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month.
After four years and trillions of dollars of borrowed spending from this president, we're moving in the wrong direction. Remember, he believes "the private sector is doing fine," and that his economic policies "worked." Flashback to July: Is an official double-dip recession on its way? (Update: AEI's Jim Pethokoukis, formerly of Reuters, is worried):
U.S. economic growth is dangerously slow. I’ve frequently written about research from the Fed which finds that since 1947, when two-quarter annualized real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 48% of the time. And when year-over-year real GDP growth falls below 2%, recession follows within a year 70% of the time ... Bottom line: Growth the past two quarters has averaged about 1.6%. Not only does this mean the economy is growing more slowly than last year’s 1.8%, it is also slow enough to signal about a 50% chance of a recession within a year. And the third quarter also looks weak.
But what about "out of touch" Mitt Romney's gaffes?
UPDATE - CNBC's Rick Santelli calls the latest numbers "depressingly weak:"