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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

February Durable Goods Orders Rise Unexpectedly

By now, you're accustomed to the good news/bad news nature of all seemingly good economic news.

This morning, the Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods -- refrigerators, computers, airplanes, autos, etc. -- jumped 3.4 percent in February compared to February 2008, a figure that blindsided everyone.

Analysts expected orders to rise a more modest 2 percent.

So that's the good news. The bad news: January's drop in durable-goods orders was worse than originally thought.

Last month, Commerce reported that durable goods orders in January dropped 5.2 percent. Today, Commerce revised that figure -- after getting more complete data -- to determine durable goods orders actually dropped 7.3 percent in January.

Breaking down the categories, in February, orders for heavy machinery jumped 13.5 percent (Can you say, "shovel-ready?") and demand for computers jumped 10.1 percent, while orders for autos and auto parts dropped 0.6 percent, which almost can be declared a victory.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  March 25, 2009; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: durable goods  
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Isn't it amazing that we were told this is the worst economy since the depression and had to sign the most pork filled spending bill in history immediately and the economy was really not as bad a we were told?

Posted by: debmries | March 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

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