U.S. Economic Indicators

New orders of manufactured durable goods rose 0.4% in January after rising 1.3% (revised) in December, and are up 7.8% year to date.  Excluding transportation, new orders edged down 0.1% (up 3.7% YTD).  Census Bureau Report

The headline Producer Price Index (“PPI”) for final demand edged up 0.1% in February and is up 1.9% since February of last year. The core — which removes the volatile prices of food, energy, and trade services — rose 0.1% in February and is up 2.3% year-over-year. BLS Report

Construction spending rose 1.3% in January to an annualized rate of $1.3 trillion.  Public construction rose 4.9% while private construction increased 0.2%.  Census Report

U.S. News

James Politi of the Financial Times reports that President Trump’s trade representative Robert Lighthizer has warned that negotiations to end the trade conflict with China are at risk of failing. Lighthizer cited a number of unresolved issues that could prevent an agreement, including the timeline for removing existing tariffs and the imposition of enforcement provisions to ensure China adheres to the deal. FT