Covid has distorted many areas of the economy. Durable goods sales as reported today for December were weaker than expected. These are items that are more expensive lasting at least three years than consumers and businesses purchase. The reason why they are considered important is that they are generally more expensive and it takes careful consideration to buy them. The consumer thus would be feeling confident if they spend the money on the expensive items.
The number was up .2% but was expected to increase by .8% and the month before it rose 1.2%. Core capital goods orders, a look at what might corporations buy, rose .6% a bit better than the overall number.
We cannot say these numbers are good or bad as covid spiked during the month of December. Now that it appears that we have reached a peak in cases of sickness maybe we can make better sense of future reports.