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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Fall With Aircraft
by Tom Moeller   October 26, 2011

New orders for durable goods fell an expected 0.8% last month following an unrevised 0.1% slip during August. A sharp 7.5% decline in orders in the transportation sector accounted for all of the decline. Orders for aircraft & parts fell by more-than-one-quarter (-27.5% y/y) and reversed the August jump. In addition, orders for motor vehicles & parts fell 2.7% (+3.2% y/y).

Outside the transportation sector, orders rose 1.7% (8.1% y/y). That gain was led by a 2.6% (30.8% y/y) rise in primary metals and a 1.9% increase (9.4% y/y) in fabricated metals. Electrical machinery orders followed with a 1.9% rise (3.9% y/y) which added to strength in August. Machinery orders rose 1.8% (10.7% y/y). Computers & other electronics orders increased 1.0% (-7.5% y/y) but computer orders alone jumped another 6.0% (4.7% y/y). Orders for communications equipment slipped 0.6% and were off by one-quarter y/y. The sub-total of orders for nondefense capital goods fell 2.3%, reflecting the drop in aircraft bookings, but elsewhere orders rose 2.4%.

Shipments of durable goods fell 0.7% (+7.3% y/y) last month. Less the transportation sector, shipments slipped 0.1% (+9.3% y/y) dragged down by a 1.5% drop (+12.8% y/y) in machinery. Inventory accumulation in the durables sector eased off last month with a 0.1% (12.1% y/y) increase. Unfilled orders again were strong, posting a second consecutive 0.8% (7.6% y/y) rise. That was led by a 1.3% gain (31.4% y/y) in machinery.

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

Durable Goods NAICS Classification (%) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Orders -0.8 -0.1 4.2 4.9 15.4 -27.3 -6.3
 Nondefense Capital Goods -2.3 5.0 4.2 4.3 28.0 -31.0 -8.4
   Excluding Aircraft 2.4 0.5 -0.3 8.6 17.2 -20.4 -1.2
Shipments -0.7 0.1 2.1 7.3 6.2 -20.4 -2.8
Inventories 0.1 0.9 1.1 12.1 9.9 -9.0 -0.2
Unfilled Orders 0.8 0.8 0.9 7.6 3.9 -15.2 4.3
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