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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Are Flat
by Tom Moeller   September 28, 2011

New orders for durable goods slipped an expected 0.1% last month following a little-revised 4.1% jump during July. Last month's figure reflected strong crosscurrents amongst the components, certainly in the transportation sector where orders slipped 0.3% (+27.1% y/y). To the upside, orders for aircraft & parts surged 23.2% and more-than doubled y/y. The gain was powered by commercial aircraft & parts which jumped 23.5% and nearly tripled y/y. Offsetting this surge was an 8.5% decline (+7.7% y/y) in motor vehicles and parts.

Outside the transportation sector, orders were mixed. Electrical machinery orders rose 1.3% (2.6% y/y) following a 2.5% July decline. Computers & other electronics orders also rose 1.3% (-6.8% y/y) and made up some of a 3.5% July drop. Computer orders alone jumped 5.5% (-0.2% y/y). Orders for machinery ticked up 0.1% (15.4% y/y) after a 1.9% July jump. Offsetting these gains was a 0.8% slip (+28.3% y/y) in primary metals orders and a 0.5% dip (+6.0% y/y) in fabricated metals.

Shipments of durable goods slipped 0.2% (+8.0% y/y) last month. Less the transportation sector, however, shipments rose a stronger 1.2% (9.2% y/y) powered by a 5.1% jump (16.3% y/y) in machinery. Factory inventories of durable goods again showed firm accumulation with a 0.9% (13.0% y/y) gain. Unfilled orders also again were strong, posting a second consecutive 0.9% (8.1% y/y) rise.

The durable goods figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The expectation figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

Durable Goods NAICS Classification (%) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Orders -0.1 4.1 -1.1 12.3 15.4 -27.3 -6.3
 Nondefense Capital Goods 5.2 4.3 -2.4 21.2 28.0 -31.0 -8.4
   Excluding Aircraft 1.1 -1.2 0.8 8.6 17.2 -20.4 -1.2
Shipments -0.2 2.1 1.1 8.0 6.2 -20.4 -2.8
Inventories 0.9 1.1 0.6 13.0 9.9 -9.0 -0.2
Unfilled Orders 0.9 0.9 0.3 8.1 3.9 -15.2 4.3
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