New Surveys Bode Well for US Economy

28 August 2003

Two new surveys provide further evidence of an upturn in the US economy.

A Commerce Department report shows that orders of durable goods – those designed to last at least three years – rose 1% in July, the second consecutive monthly increase. In June they climbed 2.6%.

Moreover, orders excluding military goods and aircraft – a guide to business investment – increased 2.9% last month.

Meanwhile, the closely watched barometer of consumer confidence from New York’s Conference Board soared from 77.0 in July to 81.3 in August, above economists’ expectations.

The index’s growth was driven by a rise in the expectations component from 86.3 to 94.4. In contrast, the gauge of consumers’ feelings about the present situation dipped from 63.0 to 61.6.

“The welcome bounce back in confidence this month was entirely due to consumers’ increasing optimism about the future,” declared Lynn Franco, director of the Board’s Consumer Research Center. “However, continued optimism will depend on positive developments in the labor market.”

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff