First, for those of us in the manufacturing industry in Michigan, the good news:
Detroit’s Big Three posted higher U.S. auto sales for June, with Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. leading with double-digit increases.
Ford Motor Co’s sales for the month rose 7% from a year earlier.
This is indeed encouraging, but the broader picture is a little harder to parse for good news:
Companies placed more orders with U.S. factories in May from April, demanding more computers, machinery and other equipment that signal investment plans.
The increase is a welcome sign after two months of declining factory orders.
Still, factory orders are down from the start of the year. And more recent data show manufacturing activity shrank in June for the first time in three years, adding to worries that weaker global growth is weighing on the U.S. economy.
“The demand for manufactured goods is recovering moderately and irregularly, but that recovery has been relatively weak relative to the magnitude of the previous declines,” said Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics
Factory orders increased 0.7 percent in May from April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
The IMF is revising down their estimate for what the year-end numbers will look like, down to a sluggish 2% rate of GDP growth. Hopefully that estimate will prove to have been pessimistic.