August 25, 2010

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New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods excluding transportation equipment posted their largest decline in 1-1/2 years in July while overall booking rose far less than expected, pointing to a slowdown in manufacturing.

The Commerce Department report on Wednesday was the latest to indicate continued subdued U.S. economic growth and an increased risk of a slide back into recession, though most analysts still do not believe a double-dip recession is imminent.

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“It adds to the slew of softer-than-expected data coming out of the U.S., increasing the risk of a very gradual recovery going forward,” said Matthew Strauss, senior currency strategist, RBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

“I think we’re not yet looking at double-dip as a base case scenario, but clearly the risk of entering into a period of very, very sluggish growth has risen.”

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