Hanging in There
· Stronger consumer spending on services led the third estimate of fourth-quarter GDP higher to a 2.6 percent annualized rate. Real final sales increased at a 2.7 percent annualized rate, the fastest pace since the start of 2012.
· After a jump in January, new home sales fell back to a 440,000-unit annualized pace in February.
· Activity in the manufacturing sector continues to look a bit sluggish. Durable goods orders rose 2.2 percent in February, but excluding transportation, goods were up only 0.2 percent. More worrisome was a 1.3 percent drop in core orders.