Everyone who follows interest rates, especially real estate investors and home owners, pays attention to the economic numbers that are regularly released by various ageinterest rates to remain low for investment real estatencies in the federal government.  Especially so as the Fed is considering ending it’s bond-buying binge as soon as the roundtable agrees that the economy is strong enough to walk along on its own.

Once the Fed decides to halt or slow down the current $85 billion monthly grab, referred to as Fed “tapering,” rates of all stripes will be on the rise. In fact, simple the notion of any tapering will cause rates to jump.

Recent economic data over the past few months has indicated in many areas a recovering economy. Home sales, both new and existing are on the rise. Consumer confidence, while still wobbly is better than it was and overall there are continued signs of not just only stability in the markets but growth. With each bit of good news, the Fed is more likely to taper than not.

Yet today, according to numbers released by the federal government, orders for durable goods fell and fell hard.  The Commerce Department said that durable goods, those that are manufactured domestically such as automobiles and appliances, fell unexpectedly by 7.3 percent, much further than the consensus 4.00 number. This was the biggest decline since August of 2012 and stopped short a string of three consecutive monthly gains.

What does that mean? It means the economy may not be as strong as many economists are thinking. Another consecutive decline would clearly indicate a shrinking manufacturing base, higher unemployment and less consumer spending.

Another big report will be released next Friday when the nonfarm payroll and unemployment numbers will be released for the month of August. A weak unemployment report combined with the disappointing durable goods number will ease any fears of Fed tapering in the near future. That could mean lower rates well into next year.