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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Recover M/M But Momentum Fades
by Tom Moeller  June 27, 2012

New orders for durable goods rebounded 1.1% in May following a 0.2% dip in April (last month reported as unchanged). The Consensus forecast was for a 0.5% rise. Despite May's gain, the y/y increase continued to decelerate to 4.6% versus a 9.8% rise last year. Much of the slowing has been due to a 4.5% y/y decline in nondefense aircraft & parts orders. Orders for motor vehicles were a still strong 17.1%. Less the transportation sector, durable goods orders ticked up 0.4% last month. The y/y gain slowed to 3.8% from its 8.6% rise last year and an 18.0% 2010 increase.

In other industry categories, machinery orders rose 4.1% (-3.6% y/y) but primary metals bookings fell 1.5% (+12.9% y/y). Orders for computers & electronic products slipped 0.9% (+4.5% y/y) while electrical equipment, appliance & components orders rose 1.1% (1.9% y/y). Except for computers, these y/y gains are well off from last year.

Shipments of durable goods rose 0.7% (8.7% y/y) for the second straight month. Unfilled orders for durable goods were roughly unchanged (8.3% y/y) for the third straight month. Inventories rose 0.5% (5.8% y/y). 

The durable goods figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economics consensus forecast figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

Durable Goods NAICS Classification (%) May Apr Mar Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
New Orders 1.1 -0.2 -3.7 4.6 9.8 27.1 -30.0
     Nondefense Capital Goods 1.3 -0.8 -12.2 5.1 13.2 36.3 -36.9
          Excluding Aircraft 1.6 -1.4 -2.3 1.5 10.3 17.1 -24.5
Shipments 0.7 0.7 0.9 8.7 9.6 11.4 -21.0
Inventories 0.5 0.3 0.4 5.8 10.3 9.5 -10.2
Unfilled Orders -0.0 -0.1 0.0 8.3 10.3 9.6 -19.5
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