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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rise As Aircraft Soars
by Tom Moeller December 23, 2011

New orders for durable goods increased 3.8% last month following little change during October, initially reported as -0.7%. Transportation orders jumped 14.7% (28.3% y/y) as orders for aircraft & parts rose by more-than-one half (88.3% y/y) and more than made up the prior two months' declines. Orders for motor vehicles & parts slipped 0.5% (+12.7% y/y), down for the third straight month.

Outside of the transportation sector, orders rose 0.3% (7.2% y/y). That gain was led by a 5.2% (24.0% y/y) rise in primary metals while machinery orders rose 0.9% (15.2% y/y). Computers & other electronics orders fell 4.4% (-5.8% y/y) and computer orders alone fell 6.0% (+0.3% y/y). Orders for communications equipment declined 10.3% and were off by 16.7% y/y. The sub-total of orders for nondefense capital goods rose 8.1% (21.3% y/y). Outside of aircraft orders fell 1.2% (+6.5% y/y) following a 0.9% October decline.

Shipments of durable goods slipped 0.4% (+9.1% y/y) last month. Less the transportation sector shipments edged up 0.2% (9.1% y/y). Inventory accumulation picked up again with a 0.6% (11.2% y/y) monthly increase led by a 15.9% rise in transportation equipment. Unfilled orders jumped 1.3% (7.1% y/y) led by a 1.2% gain (28.1% 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 (%) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y 2010 2009 2008
Orders 3.8 -0.0 -1.4 12.1 15.4 -27.3 -6.3
 Nondefense Capital Goods 8.1 -3.5 -3.5 21.3 28.0 -31.0 -8.4
   Excluding Aircraft -1.2 -0.9 1.4 6.5 17.2 -20.4 -1.2
Shipments -0.4 1.5 -0.4 9.1 6.2 -20.4 -2.8
Inventories 0.6 0.4 0.0 11.2 9.9 -9.0 -0.2
Unfilled Orders 1.3 0.3 0.6 7.9 3.9 -15.2 4.3
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