We are all guilty of converting data into changes, percent changes or percent changes of the percent change for the purpose of identifying early a change in trend. I thought it would be a good idea today to just look at the dollar amount of new orders for durable goods without putting the series through a series of mathematical calisthenics (see chart below). Not being able to resist some sort of contortion I show the series in real dollar terms as well. Either way, the stark collapse in orders and the meager bounce from the bottom suggests what today’s consumer survey told us – the economy has bottomed but it isn’t bouncing.
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