Orders for long-lasting factory goods fell by the largest amount in three years last month, mostly because demand for commercial aircraft plunged. But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow.
Americans stepped up spending on retail goods in February, evidence that a stronger job market is boosting the economy. Consumers bought more autos, clothes and appliances. They also paid higher prices for gas. Retail sales increased 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It was the biggest gain since September.
Chinese New Year kicked off on Monday, and the celebration of the new lunar cycle will effect you than you might think. When the country that manufactures so much of what we buy goes on vacation for two weeks, U.S. retail can hardly act like it's business as usual.