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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Surge As Aircraft Bookings Jump
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2013

New orders for durable goods strengthened by 3.7% last month (7.4% y/y) following a little-revised 0.2% August uptick. The latest figure was double expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Orders for nondefense aircraft & parts led the total higher with a 57.5% rise (17.4% y/y). That was accompanied by a 15.2% increase (-9.9% y/y) in defense aircraft bookings. In contrast, motor vehicle & parts orders edged 0.3% lower (+12.0% y/y).

Outside of the transportation sector orders slipped 0.1% (+5.6% y/y), the third consecutive month of shortfall. Orders for computers & electronic equipment gained 0.6% (-1.0% y/y). Orders for computers rose 7.1% (-9.6% y/y). Communications equipment bookings recovered 6.8% (14.3% y/y) following three months of sharp decline. Offsetting these gains was a 1.8% decline (+11.7% y/y) in machinery orders along with a 0.3% slip (-0.3% y/y) in electrical equipment orders. A 6.9% increase (9.3% y/y) in nondefense capital goods orders reflected the strength in aircraft bookings, but orders excluding aircraft fell 1.1% (+8.3% y/y).

Shipments of durable goods ticked 0.2% higher (4.3% y/y) even though transportation shipments slipped marginally (+8.3% y/y). Shipments excluding transportation improved 0.3% (2.7% y/y) led by a 0.8% rise (-0.6% y/y) in computers & electronic products. Shipments of nondefense capital goods edged 0.4% higher (2.6% y/y) though shipments excluding aircraft slipped 0.2% (+2.6% y/y).

Inventories of durable goods gained 0.9% (2.7% y/y) while transportation inventories moved 1.5% higher (8.5% y/y). Unfilled orders for durable goods improved 0.8% (6.5% y/y). Backlogs excluding transportation gained 0.3% (4.9% y/y) after a 1.5% decline during all of last year.

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 2012 2011 2010
New Orders 3.7 0.2 -8.1 7.4 4.1 11.0 23.2
  Transportation 12.3 1.7 -21.9 11.3 8.9 14.9 49.5
Total Excluding Transportation -0.1 -0.4 -0.5 5.6 2.1 9.5 15.2
  Nondefense Capital Goods 6.9 -0.6 -17.5 9.3 3.7 15.3 27.5
    Excluding Aircraft -1.1 0.4 -3.5 8.3 2.1 11.6 12.9
Shipments 0.2 0.8 -0.1 4.3 6.4 9.4 11.0
Inventories 0.9 0.1 0.3 2.7 4.5 10.8 9.4
Unfilled Orders 0.8 0.1 0.2 6.5 3.7 10.0 5.2
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