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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders' Gain Moderates in June
by Tom Moeller  July 27, 2021

• Transportation orders again are strong.

• Core capital goods orders improve steadily.

• Shipments, order backlogs & inventories continue upward.

Manufacturers' orders for durable goods improved 0.8% (29.3% y/y) during June following a 3.2% May increase, revised from 2.3%. A 2.1% rise had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

A 2.1% increase (59.4% y/) in transportation equipment orders accounted for much of last month's increase. The gain was driven by a surge in nondefense aircraft orders, but orders for motor vehicles & parts eased 0.3% (+5.4% y/y). Excluding transportation, orders improved 0.3% (19.6% y/y) following a 0.5% May rise, revised from 0.3%.

Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft rose 0.5% (18.3% y/y) last month, the same as in May which was revised from -0.1%. Elsewhere in the report, orders were mixed. Orders for primary metals improved 0.4% (35.0% y/y) but orders for fabricated metal products fell 0.8% (+22.4% y/y). Electrical equipment & appliance orders held steady (24.1% y/y) while machinery orders improved 0.6% (20.7% y/y). Computer & electronic product orders improved 1.0% (8.9% y/y) after holding steady in May.

Durable goods shipments rose 1.0% in June (15.2% y/y) after an unrevised 0.4% May improvement. Shipments of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 0.6% (15.7% y/y). Shipments of transportation products overall strengthened 1.1% (12.4% y/y), while shipments excluding transportation products rose 0.9% (16.3% y/y) after a 0.8% gain.

Unfilled orders for durable goods rose 0.9% both m/m and y/y. Order backlogs excluding transportation rose 1.4% (13.3% y/y).

Inventories of durable goods rose 0.9% (4.5% y/y) in June for the second straight month. Excluding transportation, inventories also rose 0.9% (4.8% y/y) after a 1.2% rise.

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 Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y % 2020 2019 2018
New Orders (SA, % chg) 0.8 3.2 -0.7 29.3 -13.6 3.5 5.1
    Transportation 2.1 10.0 -6.6 59.4 -35.5 13.2 1.7
  Total Excluding Transportation 0.3 0.5 1.7 19.6 -1.2 -1.3 6.9
    Nondefense Capital Goods Excl. Aircraft 0.5 0.5 2.7 18.3 1.0 -0.1 5.9
Shipments 1.0 0.4 -0.0 15.2 -6.3 -1.4 5.7
    Nondefense Capital Goods Excl. Aircraft 0.6 0.9 0.9 15.7 -0.3 0.7 6.3
Unfilled Orders 0.9 1.0 0.4 0.9 -8.2 10.2 -1.6
Inventories 0.9 0.9 0.7 4.5 0.5 5.9 4.4
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