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Useful Econmics

In: Other Topics

Submitted By ptldf
Words 955
Pages 4
The dollar extended losses against a basket of currencies after the report, while prices for U.S. government debt rose.

Business spending on capital goods has been undermined by the buoyant dollar, which has eroded overseas profits of multinational companies.

At the same time, lower energy prices have cut into domestic oil production, reducing demand for equipment by oil-field companies, including Schlumberger and Halliburton.

Schlumberger, the world's No.1 oil-field services provider, cut its capital expenditure plans for this year by about $500 million to $2.5 billion. Halliburton slashed its capex by about 15 percent to $2.8 billion.

The strong dollar and reduced capex spending by oil-field firms combined with a harsh winter and softer global demand to slow U.S. growth at the start of the year.

The dollar has appreciated 12.1 percent against the currencies of the United States' main trading partners since last June, largely driven by expectations of tighter monetary policy. Procter & Gamble, the world's largest household products maker, on Thursday reported a 8.3 percent decline in quarterly sales, which it blamed on the dollar.

Read MoreWhere America drinks the most: The trouble spots

In March, shipments of core capital goods—which are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement—fell 0.4 percent after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in February.

Shipments in February were previously reported to have risen 0.3 percent. That downward revision together with March's weak reading could see economists trim their first-quarter GDP growth estimates, which currently range between a 0.5 percent and 2 percent annual pace.

A surge in transportation equipment buoyed overall orders for durable goods—items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more—which rebounded...

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