CHARLOTTE, N.C.

TheStreet

) -- Durable goods order data released Wednesday showed

jumps in orders for autos and aircraft,

even as a veteran airline analyst said that while Wall Street is talking about a recession, "Main Street

is not yet listening."

Durable goods orders rose 4% in July as compared to June, the Commerce Department reported. Orders of transportation equipment rose 14.6%, fueled by a 43.4% increase in commercial aircraft orders, reflecting

higher orders

from

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

, the nation's largest exporter.

Meanwhile, orders for autos rose 11.5%.

Taking out transportation, durable goods were only up 0.7% in July, compared to a 0.6% increase in June.

Higher Boeing orders

reflect a continued strong outlook in the airline industry, which is also being helped by declining fuel prices. In a recent report, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Glenn Engel wrote that while "Wall Street

is talking recession, Main Street

is not yet listening.

"Despite concerns that recent stock market declines will induce a recession, airline bookings in the past two months (averaging up 4% year-over-year) have improved from the prior two months (averaging 1%-2% yoy)," Engel wrote. "Even during the week of the market's greatest volatility, bookings were up a resilient 2.3% yoy."

With both capacity and oil prices declining, Engel said, earnings declines should narrow following the third quarter. He noted that airline share prices seem to have already priced in a recession.

Engel upgraded

US Airways

(LCC)

and

Hawaiian

(HA) - Get Report

to buy from neutral and

American

(AMR)

to neutral from underperform.

Engel's top picks, however, are

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

and

United

(UAL) - Get Report

.

Meanwhile, experts

haven't seen declines in August auto sales. "At this point, we haven't observed any slowdown in the pace of sales in August resulting from the

debt ceiling debate in Washington or the stock market volatility," said

Ford

(F) - Get Report

analyst George Pipas, in a recent interview.

At

GM

(GM) - Get Report

, a spokesman for Buick said Buick August sales are strong, as they have been for most of the past two years.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Ted Reed

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