U.S. Equipment Orders Fell More Than Forecast in February
“U.S. factories received fewer orders for business equipment than forecast in February, just before the coronavirus-related demand shock that will likely lead a massive pullback in corporate investment. Core capital goods orders, which exclude aircraft and military hardware, fell 0.8% after a revised 1% advance in January, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economist had called for a 0.4% decline. The broader measure of bookings for all durables, or goods meant to last at least three years, increased 1.2%, reflecting a pickup in motor vehicle and electrical equipment orders.”
Pandemic Is Ripping Up Supply Chains and May Boost Europe’s East
“There may be an upside for Europe’s east from the havoc wreaked on global supply chains by the coronavirus. The pandemic’s early stages in China halted deliveries of key parts to manufacturers in Western economies. The cutoffs may prompt companies in those nations to safeguard against future issues by securing back-up capacity nearer home, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.”
The Humming of Chinese Plants Returns as Rest of World Reels
“While much of the world’s output is grinding to a halt because of the coronavirus, China is slowly emerging from its shutdowns by restarting production at factories and resuming some flights. A recovery in the world’s second-largest economy provides some relief for global manufacturers in the months ahead as the outbreak continues to wreak havoc in Europe, U.S., India and Latin America.”
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