Durable goods orders yesterday were trumpeted as another sign of a healed economy picking up steam. The headline number was up 5.7% : AWESOME!
95 percent of that rise was due to commercial aircraft orders. Still, that's great they're ordering aircraft. But what does that say about the economy as a whole?
Well the orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft is a better gauge of everyday items such as computers, office and plant equipment etc. Ultimately, this piece is typically seen as a proxy for future business investment so its decline to -2.7% wasn't as encouraging.
Again, take housing where the markets got all excited about the January year over year increase of 8.08%. in the Case Shiller index. Housing is going gangbusters!
Still, Barclays's cautioned: "investors should recognize the market remains clogged, that foreclosures in many states remain stalled by judicial processes, and that banks are sitting on thousands of properties that will have to make their way through the sales channels."
The Case-Shiller data was complemented by February new home sales numbers which fell 4.6% to 411,000.
Prices up. Sales down. And as Robert Shiller was quick to point out on his round of the economic shows: Many of these "hot growth areas" like Phoenix, Miami, Las Vegas are still down 40 percent from the peak. Robert Shiller cautioned that he was still very bearish on real Estate. But what does he know?