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Capex still strong

September orders for new capital goods were a bit weaker than expected, but this notoriously volatile series needs to be viewed from a perspective that includes several months or more. Over the past six months, orders are up at an 8.3% annualized rate, which is a good deal faster than the pace at which orders grew 15 months after the end of the 2001 recession. Over the past year, orders are up almost 14%, a pace that rarely has been exceeded in the past 20 years. I see nothing here to worry about, and it's worth noting that U.S. companies are still sitting on a trillion-dollar pile of accumulated profits; if the outlook for fiscal policy improves and corporate taxes are cut, that profits pile could power some truly impressive investment in the future.

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