Two pieces of economic news showed things remain shaky in the state of the economy, despite a sharp reduction in interest rates and an upswing in the stock market during the last month.
University of Michigan's
consumer sentiment index was revised a bit lower from its preliminary report, while
durable goods orders
show business demand remains sluggish, falling 5% in April.
The University of Michigan's sentiment survey was revised downward to 92 in May from a previous estimate of 92.6. This survey isn't published but released to subscribers who leak it to the market.
Meanwhile, orders for durable goods -- items designed to last more than three years -- fell 5% in April, following a revised 2.2% jump in orders in March. The expectation among economists was for a 2% drop in durables orders. Spending on durable goods has slowed dramatically in recent months as companies have cut back on capital investment to reduce costs and help keep profits from eroding.
Excluding transportation orders, which can be volatile, orders were still weak, declining 3.3% after a drop of 2.8% for the month of March. Among the larger drops in the month of April were orders for computers and electronic products, which fell 8.8% for the month, and for semiconductors, which dropped 32%. Sharp declines were also evident in aircraft and parts and motor vehicles and components.