Durable Goods Numbers Disappoint; Businesses Fret

It's a sign that - say it with me now - housing woes could be spreading
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2007 11:07 AM CST
Washers and dryers sit on display at Western Appliance in Mountain View, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007. Durable good orders rose less than expected today. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Durable good sales rose just 0.1% in November, a lower-than-expected bump after October’s 0.4% drop, Bloomberg reports. Analysts had forecast a 3% rise. Take out transportation, including stellar airline sales, and sales fell 0.7%.  It’s another sign the economy is slowing down and businesses are being cautious, economists said. One predicted that industrial production could soon turn negative.

In the face of a slowing domestic market, many companies are relying heavily on exports to weather the storm. Shipments to overseas buyers rose 0.9%. Treasury notes rose and the dollar fell after the report. A separate report contained more gloom still: Jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, and the number of people collecting benefits jumped to a 2-year high.