There's a very negative headline up at Bloomberg, but to me this report for July
looks like more of the same. There has been a gradual decline of forward momentum, which is what you would expect under the global circumstances.
This report is consistent with a slowing of manufacturing growth, but not with any real downturn. Machinery orders did drop hard for the second month, but that's expected. Communications equipment is actually growing still - it's been through the cycle already and is now into a new cycle.
The problem with this report is that the shipment/new orders ratios YTD have shifted to the point at which normally we would expect a slowdown going forward, but there certainly is no real change this month. I think the financial press is just getting on the negative bandwagon - everyone on WS wants Ben to throw money; everyone on Main Street wants Ben not to throw money.
What's dragging the US economy down is the consumer side, not the industrial side. Right now we are a heck of a headache for Chinese industry, but not much for US industry, as long as we can keep the subprime and leasing auto orders going. That, I think, has got to be wearing itself out. I've been listening to the radio, and it's getting worse. Now they are advertising very cheap leases on high-end autos.
I really like this site
for used-car price trends.