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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders in January Dive; Forward Momentum Slows
by Tom Moeller  February 27, 2013

Deterioration in factory sector momentum remains in place. For January, total durable goods orders fell 5.2% following a 3.7% December rise, revised from 4.6%. A 4.0% decline had been expected.Year-to-year, durable goods orders slid 1.0% in January.

A m/m collapse in aircraft bookings (-46.0% y/y) led the decline in total durable goods orders last month. The decline in aircraft orders reflected lower orders for both nondefense (-49.7% y/y) and defense (-31.6% y/y) aircraft. Also falling were orders for computers & electronic products, off 5.3% (-7.6% y/y) as well as primary metals orders, down 3.6% (-0.2% y/y). Motor vehicle & parts bookings were flat (8.1% y/y).

There were some bright spots in the report. Excluding the transportation sector altogether, durable goods orders jumped 1.9% (3.0% y/y) last month. Machinery orders rose 13.5% (11.3% y/y) and electrical equipment bookings increased 1.4% (0.2% y/y). Orders for fabricated metal gained 1.0% (4.7% y/y).

Shipments of durable goods fell 1.2% (+2.7% y/y) last month and retreated from a record high level. Growth slowed, however, throughout most of last year. Transportation sector shipments fell 2.3% (+4.0% y/y) last month. Outside of the transportation sector, shipments fell 0.7% (+2.2% y/y) led lower by a 3.5% fall (-3.1% y/y) in computers & electronic products.

Unfilled orders for durable goods slipped 0.2% (+1.5% y/y) in January. Outside of the transportation sector, unfilled orders rose 0.7% (-1.7% y/y). Inventories of durable goods inched up 0.2% (3.9% y/y) last month. Excluding transportation, inventories slipped 0.1% (+1.6% 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 Jan Dec Nov Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
New Orders -5.2 3.7 0.6 -1.0 3.7 9.8 27.1
  Transportation -19.8 9.9 -0.7 -10.0 7.8 12.8 57.4
Total Excluding Transportation 1.9 1.0 1.2 3.0 1.9 8.6 18.0
  Nondefense Capital Goods -0.1 1.4 -2.2 -7.9 0.4 13.2 36.3
    Excluding Aircraft 6.3 -0.3 3.3 4.7 -0.5 10.3 17.1
Shipments -1.2 0.5 1.8 2.7 6.6 9.6 11.4
Inventories 0.2 -0.1 0.1 1.9 4.5 10.3 9.5
Unfilled Orders -0.2 0.8 0.0 1.5 2.3 10.3 9.6
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