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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Decline Again; Aircraft Bookings Slide
by Tom Moeller  June 23, 2015

New orders for durable goods declined 1.8% during May (-5.0% y/y) following a 1.5% April fall, earlier reported as -0.5%. Expectations were for a 0.5% dip in orders for total durable goods in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Orders for transportation equipment fell 6.4% (-9.6% y/y) as nondefense aircraft bookings were off by roughly one third (-59.9% y/y). Orders excluding transportation equipment rose 0.5% (-2.9% y/y). During the last ten years, there has been an 88% correlation between the y/y change in orders and the change in real GDP.

Machinery orders nudged 0.8% higher (-2.4% y/y) following a 0.4% rise. Orders for computers & electronic products rose 8.3% (6.3% y/y) and added to a 4.3% increase. Electrical equipment orders slipped 0.4% (-1.8% y/y) following a 2.3% decline.

Nondefense capital goods orders fell 6.6% (-11.0% y/y) following a 2.0% decline. Orders excluding the notably volatile aircraft sector gained 0.4% (-2.0% y/y) after a 0.3% dip.

Shipments of durable goods slipped 0.1% (+0.7% y/y) following a 0.2% decline. Shipments excluding transportation edged 0.3% higher (-1.3% y/y) after a 0.1% dip. Unfilled orders eased 0.5% (+5.7% y/y) after a 0.2% decline. Backlogs less the transportation sector dipped 0.2% (+2.5% y/y) following a 0.4% dip. Inventories of durable goods eased 0.2% (+3.7% y/y) following a 0.2% rise and excluding transportation they also were 0.2% lower (+2.6% 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 May Apr Mar May Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
New Orders (SA, %) -1.8 -1.5 5.1 -5.0 6.8 2.0 6.7
  Transportation -6.4 -4.0 15.1 -9.6 5.8 6.5 17.0
Total Excluding Transportation 0.5 -0.3 0.6 -2.9 7.3 -0.2 2.4
  Nondefense Capital Goods -6.6 -2.0 7.4 -11.0 6.7 2.6 11.2
    Excluding Aircraft 0.4 -0.3 1.6 -2.0 6.5 -1.3 8.1
Shipments -0.1 -0.2 1.5 0.7 4.8 1.8 6.6
Inventories -0.2 0.2 0.0 3.7 6.1 2.4 3.8
Unfilled Orders -0.5 -0.2 0.1 5.7 11.5 6.5 7.8
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