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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Firm, Revisions Positive
by Tom Moeller July 27, 2005

New orders for durable goods added 1.4% last month to the upwardly revised 6.4% jump in May. Consensus expectations had been for a 1.0% decline.

Strength in the factory sector was quite apparent in a 2.6% rise in durable goods orders outside of the transportation sector as well as a 0.9% gain in these orders in May, revised up from a 0.2% decline reported initially. Computer & electronic equipment orders jumped 8.6% (19.0% y/y) after a 1.5% May rise, initially reported as a 1.2% decline. Orders for communication equipment surged 18.3% and were one third higher than last year.

Machinery orders jumped 3.7% (11.9% y/y) but with a 0.1% decline (+13.1% y/y) electrical equipment orders gave back a piece of the very much upwardly revised 3.4% spurt in May.

Orders for aircraft & parts fell just 22.1% (+49.8% y/y) following the more-than-doubling of orders in May while orders for motor vehicles & parts slipped 0.1% (-2.3% y/y).

Non-defense capital goods orders slipped due to the decline in aircraft but less aircraft orders posted the strongest monthly gain since January. Nevertheless, shipments of nondefense capital goods less aircraft fell 0.4% (+10.1% y/y). The decline in shipments followed gains of 1.2% and 1.5% during the prior two months.

Durable inventories fell 0.3% (+7.1% y/y) for the second monthly decline in the last three while May's gain was revised lower to just 0.1%.

Unfilled orders jumped another 2.6% (9.8% y/y) but outside of the transportation sector backlogs rose a lesser 1.6% (9.2% y/y). The ratio of backlogs to shipments outside of transportation rose to the highest level in over a year.

NAICS Classification June May Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Durable Goods Orders 1.4% 6.4% 11.8% 10.8% 2.6% -1.7%
    Excluding Transportation 2.6% 0.9% 10.6% 13.1% 3.2% -4.2%
Nondefense Capital Goods -1.9% 16.1% 25.7% 13.7% 5.6% -7.2%
 Excluding Aircraft 3.8% -0.6% 13.0% 11.7% 6.6% -7.1%
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