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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Bounce Back M/M But Trend  Lower
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2012

Durable goods orders recovered 9.9% (2.5% y/y) last month following the 13.1% falloff during August. The improvement was better than the 7.0% Consensus forecast. A 31.7% rise in orders for transportation equipment led the rebound as orders for nondefense aircraft nearly tripled (30.0% y/y). Orders for defense aircraft also rose to their highest level (52.8% y/y) in six months. Motor vehicle orders slipped 0.4% (+13.8% y/y). Less the transportation sector altogether, orders for durables rose 2.0% (-1.6% y/y) after a 2.1% August drop.     

Performance in other industries was mixed. Machinery orders jumped 9.2% but were down 6.0% during the last year. Primary metals increased 4.1% (4.3% y/y). To the downside, orders for computers and electronic products slumped 2.5% (-10.4% y/y) and electrical equipment orders were off 2.7% (-6.6% y/y). Nondefense capital goods orders were up by nearly one quarter (-2.3% y/y) and reversed the August decline due to cancelled aircraft bookings. Excluding aircraft, orders were unchanged (-7.4% y/y).

Shipments of durable goods also improved last month, up 0.8% (6.0% y/y). Again, the transportation sector led with a 1.3% (13.7% y/y) rise. Excluding transportation, shipments rose 0.6% (3.2% y/y). Unfilled orders ticked up 0.2% (4.7% y/y) while inventories rose 0.3% (5.6% 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 Sep Aug Jul Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
New Orders 9.9 -13.1 3.3 2.5 9.8 27.1 -30.0
  Transportation 31.7 -33.7 13.2 12.5 12.8 57.4 -42.0
Total Excluding Transportation 2.0 -2.1 -1.4 -1.6 8.6 18.0 -25.4
  Nondefense Capital Goods 23.7 -24.0 4.4 -2.3 13.2 36.3 -36.9
    Excluding Aircraft 0.0 0.2 -5.6 -7.4 10.3 17.1 -24.5
Shipments 0.8 -2.9 1.8 6.0 9.6 11.4 -21.0
Inventories 0.3 0.6 0.9 5.6 10.3 9.5 -10.2
Unfilled Orders 0.2 -1.7 0.7 4.7 10.3 9.6 -19.5
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