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Durable goods orders rose +7.3% in June to $206.9 billion after a +15.1% increase in May, but were still down -13.3% for the year. June’s increase was led by a +85.7% increase in motor vehicle orders, which pulled up overall transportation orders by +20.0% despite large drops for civilian aircraft (-462.3%) and defense aircraft (-30.6%). Excluding transportation, orders were up +3.3%, with gains for fabricated metal products (+4.5%), primary metals (+3.6%), and machinery (+2.7%). Core capital goods, which exclude defense and aircraft and serve as a gauge of business investment were up +3.3% for June, but down -2.3% for the year.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve voted unanimously to keep the federal funds target rate at 0.0% – 0.25% and noted that it expected to maintain the rate in this range until the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to recover. The Federal Reserve also indicated that it would increase its Treasury securities and mortgage backed securities in order to support the flow of credit to households and businesses, and noted that increasing the flow of credit had played a part in improving overall financial conditions. The statement stressed that recovery will depend on the course of the virus and that the ongoing public health crisis weighed heavily on near term economic activity, employment, and inflation, as well as posing considerable medium term economic risks.
The annual rate of GDP for the second quarter of 2020 dropped a record -32.9% after a -5.0% drop in the first quarter. Government social benefits largely accounted for a +$1.39 trillion increase in Q2 personal income compared to a $193.4 billion increase for Q1, but consumer spending fell -$1.57 trillion as personal savings increased to $4.69 trillion. Consumer spending for services was down -22.93%, with the steepest drops for health care (-9.5%), food services and accommodations (-5.55%), and recreation services (-4.69%). Goods spending was down a smaller -2.12%, with the steepest drops for clothing and footwear (-0.95%), and gasoline (-0.85%). Consumer prices fell -1.9% compared to a +1.4% increase in Q1, and compared to Q2 one year ago, GDP was down -9.5%.
Monday August 3 – ISM Manufacturing PMI
Friday August 7 – Employment Situation Report