Shirts for sale on a store shelf.
Shirts for sale on a store shelf. - 
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Renita Jablonski: More measurements of our economy's health are due today -- the government reports on July factory orders for non-durable goods. Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: Non-durable goods are things like clothing, food and gas. Stuart Hoffman is chief economist for PNC financial services group. He thinks orders to factories producing these products were up in July, by more than 1 percent. But Hoffman says, remember, that number measures orders in terms of dollars -- not, say, how many gallons of gas were ordered from a refiner, but how much it was worth.

Stuart Hoffman: Part of the increase in the number simply reflects higher prices of these goods.

By contrast, orders for nondurable goods in August are expected to be down, because gas prices fell, but also because consumer demand isn't so hot. Brian Bethune is chief U.S. economist at Global Insight. He says most spending from the economic stimulus checks has fizzled out.

Hoffman: We're not going to get a big boost from the rebate checks for the remaining months of 2008.

Of course, that includes the all-important holiday shopping season just around the corner.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.