US: Robust outlook remains intact

5 min

Recent data remains solid. Durable goods orders rose +3.1% m/m to +8.9% y/y. Primary metals, perhaps driven by recent tariff threats, led the way, up +2.7% m/m to +12% y/y. More importantly, orders for core capital goods turned positive for the first time in three months, gaining +1.8% m/m to +8% y/y. All the y/y rates are well above historical averages. Volatile new home sales slipped -0.6% m/m, to a +0.5% y/y rate. Prices, however, rose +9.7% y/y, and supply is up from a scarce 4.8 months in November to a balanced 5.9 months in February, and combined with improving weather, sales may rebound in the spring. Consumer confidence slipped -2.3 points, perhaps on fears of a trade war (now falling), but remained near a 17-year high. Importantly, the percentage of respondents saying jobs were plentiful was at a 17-year high, and those saying jobs were hard to get were at a 17-year low.