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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Rise Again Led By Transportation
by Tom Moeller  August 24, 2012

New orders for durable goods jumped another 4.2% last month following an unrevised 1.6% June increase. Expectations had been for a 1.5% July rise. Strength continued to center in the transportation sector where orders jumped 14.1% (16.2% y/y) after a 10.8% June gain. Aircraft orders increased by roughly one third m/m and by more than one half y/y. Also, orders for motor vehicles & parts gained 12.8% (6.0% y/y). Outside of the transportation sector, however, activity has been struggling and orders slipped 0.4% (-0.3% y/y) last month after a 2.2% June drop.   

Weakness in other industries was led by machinery where orders fell 3.6% (-11.1% y/y). In addition, electrical equipment bookings were off 2.1% (-0.9% y/y). These declines were partially offset by a 2.7% increase in primary metals (5.9% y/y) and a 1.0% rise (2.0% y/y) in computers & electronic products.

A 2.6% gain (6.1% y/y) in shipments of durable goods also was led by the transportation sector where both aircraft (13.8% y/y) and motor vehicles (6.4% y/y) have been strong. Excluding transportation, shipments ticked up just 0.3% (6.0% y/y) after a 0.5% June increase. These gains in orders & shipments left unfilled orders up just 0.8% (8.0% y/y), but down 0.7% (+5.3% y/y) excluding transportation equipment. Inventory accumulation continued to decelerate. The 0.7% rise in inventories last month left the y/y gain at 5.4%, less than half the rate of increase twelve months ago. The lesser 3.8% y/y rate of accumulation excluding transportation was one third its peak rate early last year.

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

The Rise of Corporate Savings from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is available here.

 

 

Durable Goods NAICS Classification Jul Jun May Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
New Orders 4.2 1.6 1.5 4.9 9.8 27.1 -30.0
  Transportation 14.1 10.8 3.6 16.2 12.8 57.4 -42.0
Total Excluding Transportation -0.4 -2.2 0.7 -0.3 8.6 18.0 -25.4
  Nondefense Capital Goods 6.8 2.5 2.3 6.7 13.2 36.3 -36.9
    Excluding Aircraft -3.4 -2.7 2.3 -5.6 10.3 17.1 -24.5
Shipments 2.6 0.0 1.1 6.1 9.6 11.4 -21.0
Inventories 0.7 0.3 0.4 5.4 10.3 9.5 -10.2
Unfilled Orders 0.8 0.4 -0.0 8.0 10.3 9.6 -19.5
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