Jasinowski says that available data hints that a turnaround may have been forming before the attacks. "Excluding transportation, new orders actually were up by nearly half a percent due to increases in new orders for machinery, communications equipment and semiconductors, and new orders for nondefense capital goods rose 0.8% in August from the previous month," he comments.
"Though one month's worth of data does not make a trend, the likelihood of a turnaround in the manufacturing sector by year's end was strong," says Jasinowski. "But the terrorist attacks are likely to soften consumer confidence in the short term, postponing a recovery in manufacturing until early 2002," he observes.
Jasinowski stresses that the most important challenge now is to "strengthen business and consumer confidence in the U.S. economy."