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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Jump at Yearend; Shipments Reach Record High
by Tom Moeller  January 28, 2013

A doubling of defense bookings raised total durable goods orders by 4.6% (0.2% y/y) during December, a 0.7% rise had been expected. Outside of the defense sector, orders rose 1.2% (-4.5% y/y) last month but the 4.1% full-year gain was slower than a 12.3% advance during all of 2011. Orders for primary metals led last month's total increase with a 3.6% (-7.0% y/y) rise. Orders for computers & electronic products jumped 3.3% (1.2% y/y) in December but for the full year slipped 0.2% after having been down 8.0% during all of 2011. Orders for electrical equipment & appliances fell 2.4% (-4.1% y/y) last month and slipped 0.9% for the full year. Orders for nondefense capital goods jumped 3.8% (-12.3% y/y) in December; excluding commercial aircraft, nondefense orders ticked up just 0.2% (-4.3% y/y) and for the full year fell 0.5%.

Shipments of durable goods jumped 1.3% (4.8% y/y) last month to a record high level. Growth, however, slowed through most of the year. The 1.2% rise (4.9% y/y) outside of defense pulled shipments up 7.2% for 2012. That rate of gain, however, was down from an 11.4% advance in 2011. The full-year rise was led by an 8.7% rise in machinery shipments.

Unfilled orders rose 0.8% (2.3% y/y) in December and 2.3% y/y. Inventories of durable goods were roughly unchanged last month but the 4.6% rise during all of 2012 was half the 2011 gain. A slower rate of inventory accumulation last year occurred throughout most industry sectors. 

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 Dec Nov Oct Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
New Orders 4.6 0.7 1.1 0.2 3.8 9.8 27.1
  Transportation 11.9 -0.5 -0.6 6.7 8.1 12.8 57.4
Total Excluding Transportation 1.3 1.2 1.8 -2.8 2.0 8.6 18.0
  Nondefense Capital Goods 3.8 -2.4 2.6 -12.3 0.6 13.2 36.3
    Excluding Aircraft 0.2 3.0 3.0 -4.3 -0.5 10.3 17.1
Shipments 1.3 1.8 0.0 4.8 6.7 9.6 11.4
Inventories -0.0 0.1 0.3 4.6 4.6 10.3 9.5
Unfilled Orders 0.8 0.0 0.3 2.3 2.3 10.3 9.6
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