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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Up Slightly
by Tom Moeller March 24, 2005

Durable goods orders rose 0.3% last month following a 1.1% decline in January that was deeper than initially estimated. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.8% gain.

Nondefense capital goods orders were about unchanged after an upwardly revised gain in January. Less aircraft orders fell 2.1% but the January increase was sharply higher than initially reported.

Higher orders for computers & electronic paced the February gain with a 1.2% (10.9% y/y) rise. Orders for transportation equipment also rose 1.6% (-2.5% y/y).

Electrical equipment orders gave back 4.5% (+6.8% y/y) of a 13.7% jump in January and machinery orders fell 1.1% (+14.4% y/y). Primary metals orders ticked 0.6% (17.1% y/y) higher but orders for fabricated metals fell.

Inventories of durable goods added 0.6% (9.5% y/y) to an upwardly revised 1.6% jump in January. However, shipments fell 1.6% (8.5% y/y) and caused the I/S ratio to rise.

Unfilled orders rose 0.6% and pulled the ratio of backlogs to shipments to the highest level since November.

NAICS Classification Feb Jan Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Durable Goods Orders 0.3% -1.1% 7.7% 10.8% 2.6% -1.7%
Nondefense Capital Goods -0.0% 1.1% 15.2% 13.7% 5.6% -7.2%
Excluding Aircraft -2.1% 4.4% 13.6% 11.7% 6.6% -7.1%
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