U.S. Economic Indicators

New factory orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.5% in February following no change in January and are up 2.4% compared to a year ago. New orders excluding transportation rose 0.3% while new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.1%. Census Bureau Report

U.S. News

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. lawmakers have until October to reach a deal to increase discretionary federal spending, a critical driver of GDP growth in the current economic expansion. Although analysts expect Congress to reach a bipartisan deal before spending limits automatically kick in this fall, there is a chance that heightened political tension could impede a new spending agreement, leading to an estimated 0.6% decrease in GDP growth. WSJ

According to the Financial Times, the latest update to the Brookings-FT Tracking Index for the Global Economic Recovery (TIGER) indicates that the global economy has entered a “synchronized slowdown” that is unlikely to reverse in 2019. The worsening outlook is driven by fading momentum in Europe, China, and the U.S., which may be difficult to reverse through fiscal stimulus and conventional monetary policy given current high levels of public debt and interest rates near or below zero. FT