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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rise Again Reflecting Broad-Based Increases
by Tom Moeller  January 26, 2012

New orders for durable goods increased 3.0% last month following a 4.3% rise during November. The full-year gain in orders of 10.1% after the 15.4% rise in 2010 and was consistent with other indications of factory sector improvement including industrial production, the ISM series and factory payrolls.

Transportation orders increased 5.5% (56.2% y/y) as orders for aircraft & parts rose 13.7%, up by one-quarter for the full year. Orders for motor vehicles & parts inched up 0.6% (9.2% y/y). Outside of the transportation sector orders rose 2.1% (7.0% y/y). That gain was paced by a 6.0% (5.6% y/y) rise in machinery and a 5.1% (36.0% y/y) increase in primary metals. Orders for computers & electronic products rose 1.2% (-9.0% y/y) but electrical equipment bookings fell 1.1% (-1.0% y/y). Orders for nondefense capital goods surged another 5.8% (35.7% y/y) while excluding aircraft orders rose 2.9% (5.3% y/y), up for the first month in three. Reflecting budget cutbacks to reduce the federal government's budget deficit, defense capital goods orders fell 12.4% and were off by one-third y/y.

Shipments of durable goods jumped 2.1% (8.9% y/y) last month. Less the transportation sector shipments also posted a firm 2.4% rise (9.9% y/y). Inventories rose another 0.3% (10.7% y/y) led by a 1.5% rise (16.1% y/y) in transportation equipment. Inventories most everywhere else slipped m/m and rose just moderately y/y. Unfilled orders jumped 1.5% (9.7% y/y) led by a 2.0% gain (26.6% y/y) in machinery.

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

The Fed's statement following it's FOMC meeting is available here.

Durable Goods NAICS Classification (%) Dec Nov Oct Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Orders 3.0 4.3 0.1 17.0 10.1 15.4 -27.3
 Nondefense Capital Goods 5.8 9.6 -3.5 35.7 14.5 28.0 -31.0
   Excluding Aircraft 2.9 -1.2 -0.9 5.3 10.2 17.2 -20.4
Shipments 2.1 -0.3 1.5 8.9 8.0 6.2 -20.4
Inventories 0.3 0.6 0.4 10.7 10.7 9.9 -9.0
Unfilled Orders 1.5 1.4 0.4 9.7 9.7 3.9 -15.2
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