After a strong mid 2014 new orders had fallen heavily with nominal order data especially hard hit. After an initial slide the trend seems to be levelling out, but levelling out is not what the economy needs.
Long term, the order profile is flat if we adjust for prices – note I have adjusted for producer prices not order prices, although over time I expect little difference.
Annual growth rates have taken a punch to the gut, but if we adjust for monthly variance and producer prices we find that the downturn is less marked, although not necessarily insignificant:
What I do find interesting, and which backs up my thoughts re last summer’s surge in activity, is the fact that the rise in activity towards the middle of last year is more or less reflected in the downturn in the early part of this year. This pattern comes about after adjusting for PPI and basing % changes on rolling 6 month average data to arrive at a better fix of actual capacity and order flow:
Motor vehicles and parts seems to be the notable exception, but I do have concerns over debt financing and weak income growth.