Durable goods orders in July declined 1.7% from a month earlier, following a downwardly revised 0.7% advance in June and compared with market expectations of a 0.5% drop. Transportation equipment drove the decrease as volatile demand for civilian aircraft fell.

Ex-defense new orders in July dipped 1% after increasing 1.2% in June. That implies that defense orders in June were quite weak. Transportation orders, also a big item, were slow as well.

When combined with the soft housing data these statistics confirm that the US economy has weakened and will likely go down some more in the months ahead. We have not heard much of a declining economy out of the summer confab of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Indeed, the reports so far are quite upbeat. The differing reports about the economy are quite confusing. Clarification should come when the Fed announces its decisions at the end-September FOMC meeting.