Market news

24 October 2019

U.S.: Outlook for capital spending remains weak – Wells Fargo

Analysts at Wells Fargo note that data released today showed that U.S. durable goods orders dropped 1.1%. According to their view, the strike at General Motors and the ongoing struggles at Boeing only partially held back durable goods orders in September. They see core orders remain in a trend decline and survey evidence suggests capital spending will remain weak during the fourth quarter. 

  • “Durable goods orders fell a larger-than-expected 1.1% in September. While some weakness can be tied to the United Auto Workers strike at General Motors (GM) and the ongoing struggles at Boeing, stripping out transportation, orders still declined 0.3%. More ominously, core orders—or nondefense excluding aircraft—fell 0.5% and remain in a trend decline.
  • We wouldn’t be too surprised to see another drag from autos in both orders and production next month, as the GM strike only began half-way through September and is set to extend through the end of October.
  • An unwind in inventories and a jump in shipments are likely once the jet receives the all-clear, and we expect this to show up in the national GDP accounts in the first half of 2020.
  • Third-quarter GDP is due next week, and with September marking the third full month the 737 MAX has been grounded, it will be the first quarter Boeing’s struggles will be fully realized.
  • The outlook for capital spending remains weak. Core orders continue to weaken, and remain higher than ISM readings would suggest, while capital spending plans among manufacturers continue to slide. Investment will likely remain under pressure in the months ahead.”
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