US Economy Shows Signs Of Cooling
25 May 2012 11:00am - Victoria Wedderburn

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US Economy Shows Signs Of Cooling

The Commerce Department has said that in April companies place fewer orders for computers, machinery and other capital equipment for a second month, suggesting manufacturing in the US is cooling. Bookings for non-military goods excluding aircraft fell 1.9% after dropping 2.2% in March, the first back-to- back decline in a year.

Elsewhere the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dipped, indicating the economy is plodding along even though headwinds from Europe cut into US factory activity growth this month. The data on the US economy was a bit lackluster, but it showed the recovery remained resilient even with growth in China slowing and the euro zone edging toward recession. "We are growing at a moderate pace of 2 to 2-1/4%, but we have some headwinds that are starting to assert themselves, particularly coming from Europe," said Paul Edelstein, economist at IHS Global Insight. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average, considered a better measure of labor market trends, also fell to 370,000, dropping by 5,500.