Last updateTue, 18 Dec 2018 4pm


U.S. Durable Goods Orders Fell 1.7% in July

New orders for manufactured durable goods in July decreased $4.3 billion or 1.7% to $246.9 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department announced. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 0.7% June increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.0%. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $4.6 billion or 5.3% to $82.8 billion. 

U.S. Trade Policy Endangers Texas Economic Growth

Dallas Fed economists are optimistic about the prospects for Texas’ growth in the short and medium term. However, worker shortages as well as U.S. trade policy, particularly regarding NAFTA, are issues that could negatively impact the outlook. Research by Dallas Fed economists indicates that the U.S. trading relationship with Mexico is substantially an “intermediate goods” relationship—part of integrated supply chain and logistics relationships that allow U.S.-domiciled companies to keep jobs in this country and increase their global competitiveness. Without these trading relationships, the U.S. would likely lose market share to other countries, particularly in Asia. 

BCG: Rebuild a Company While Business is Booming

Even as large-scale efforts to dramatically change business operations increasingly become the norm, too many companies still view transformation as something to be done when a business is already in financial trouble. Turning this old view on its head, new research from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that leaders stand to gain more by rebuilding business operations while their companies are doing well.

The return on investment (ROI) of preemptive transformations is estimated to be 50% higher, on average, in terms of restructuring costs, than the ROI from transformations implemented in response to declining business performance. 

U.S. Manufacturing Output Rose 0.3% in July

Industrial production edged up 0.1% in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5% over the previous five months. At 108.0% of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2% higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1%, a rate that is 1.7% below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

Manufacturing output increased 0.3% in July and was 2.8% higher than its year-earlier level. The index for durables rose 0.4%. Within durables, most major industry groups posted increases. 

Manufacturers Technology Orders Ahead of 2017 Pace

Manufacturing technology orders capped the first half of the year with another strong month in June, gaining 5% compared to June 2017 and bringing the annual growth rate to 22% for 2018. The latest  U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report from The Association For Manufacturing Technology showed that orders totaled $417 million for the month, down 14% compared to May’s totals, and sit at $2.55 billion for the year. The only region to show month over month growth was the Northeast, where power generation and aerospace showed great strength in June. 

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