Recent Updates

  • China: Foreign Reserves (May)
  • US: Employment Situation (May)
  • Lithuania: Foreign Reserves (May-Prelim), Macroeconomic Projections (Q2)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders & Shipments Fall
by Tom Moeller  April 24, 2020

• Durable goods orders weaken 14.4% in March, the sharpest decline since August 2014.

• Commercial aircraft orders plummet.

• Inventories surge.

Manufacturers' orders for durable goods fell 14.4% last month (-16.0% y/y) following a 1.1% February rise, revised from 1.2%. An 11.1% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Last month's orders weakness was paced by a 41.0% shortfall (-43.6% y/y) in transportation sector orders. It reflected a sharp drop in commercial aircraft bookings as well as an 18.4% weakening (-21.1% y/y) in motor vehicle and parts orders. Orders excluding the transportation sector eased 0.2% last month (-0.7% y/y) following a 0.7% decline.

Orders for electrical equipment & appliances rose 1.5% (3.9% y/y), about the same as they did in February. Offsetting this rise was a 0.1% easing (-1.5% y/y) in bookings for computers & electronic products. Machinery orders also slipped 0.2% (-1.2% y/y). Primary & fabricated metals orders also declined both m/m and y/y.

Shipments of durable goods weakened 4.5% (-6.5% y/y) as transportation shipments fell 12.8% (-17.2% y/y), paced by an 18.5% shortfall (-21.6% y/y) in motor vehicles & parts. Aircraft & parts shipments actually rose 5.3% (-19.4% y/y) in March. Shipments less transportation eased 0.3% (-0.7% y/y) for a second straight month. Nondefense capital goods shipments excluding aircraft shipments were off 0.2% (-1.0% y/y).

Unfilled orders for durable products declined 2.0% (-3.8% y/y). Order backlogs excluding transportation edged 0.1% lower (-0.5% y/y), off slightly for the fifth straight month.

Durable goods inventories increased 0.6% (4.0% y/y) last month, the largest rise since September 2018. Transportation sector inventories also rose 0.6% (13.4% y/y) while durable goods inventories less transportation gained 0.6%, but declined 0.5% 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 Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
New Orders (SA, % chg) -14.4 1.1 0.1 -16.0 -1.2 7.9 5.4
    Transportation -41.0 4.6 -1.0 -43.6 -4.3 9.8 3.2
  Total Excluding Transportation -0.2 -0.7 0.7 -0.7 0.4 6.9 6.5
    Nondefense Capital Goods Excl. Aircraft 0.1 -0.8 1.0 -0.7 0.9 6.0 6.7
Shipments -4.5 0.8 -0.0 -6.5 1.2 7.1 4.0
    Nondefense Capital Goods Excl. Aircraft -0.2 -0.9 1.1 -1.0 2.1 6.3 5.6
Unfilled Orders -2.0 0.1 0.0 -3.8 -2.1 3.9 1.9
Inventories 0.6 0.0 -0.2 4.0 4.7 4.8 4.5
close
large image