Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Orders, claims figures show "real" economy slumping

It seems like some form of bailout bill is all but a done deal at this point, though we're still waiting on the details. In the meantime, the "real" economy (as opposed to the financial one) is showing signs of slumping fast.

Durable goods orders plunged 4.5% in August – more than double the 1.9% decline that economists were expecting. A key measure of business spending, non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, tanked 2%. That was the largest decline since January 2007.

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims soared to 493,000, the highest since the period right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some of that gain stemmed from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. But the trend higher is clear, and a sign of real economic weakness. Continuing claims ramped up to 3.542 million, the highest level in five years.


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