Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Dec 22 2023

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Jump in November after October Fall

  • Nondefense aircraft orders rebound after October drop.
  • Defense goods orders fall after October surge.
  • Durable goods shipments up; nondurable goods shipments flat.

New orders for durable goods rose 5.4% in November (+9.5% y/y), basically reversing October’s 5.1% drop, which is revised from 5.4% reported last month. The Action Economics Forecast Survey had expected November’s increase to be 2.2%.

Transportation equipment orders were up 15.3% in November (+25.5% y/y) following October’s drop of 13.4%. The November amount included a 44.5% increase in nondefense aircraft orders and a 2.8% increase in motor vehicles and parts (-0.2% y/y). The latter advance partially reversed a 4.1% decrease in October’s orders for motor vehicles.

Durable goods orders excluding transportation rose 0.5% (2.0% y/y) in November after a 0.3% decrease in October. Within that group, new orders for computers and electronic products increased 0.3% last month (+3.6% y/y) after edging down 0.1% in October. New orders for machinery were also up 0.3% in November (-0.6% y/y) following a 0.8% decline in October. Electrical equipment orders advanced 1.3% last month (+8.5% y/y) after falling 2.4% in October. Fabricated metal orders were unchanged (+1.7% y/y) last month after decreasing 0.5% in October. Orders for defense goods dropped 11.0% in November (-1.4% y/y) following an 18.0% surge in October.

Nondefense capital goods orders rose 17.1% in November (+30.9% y/y), reversing a 14.1% fall in October. As noted above, this November advance was concentrated in aircraft; other capital goods industry orders rose 0.8% (+2.0% y/y)) after falling 0.6% in October.

Shipments of all manufactured goods increased 0.5% (-0.4% y/y) last month after decreasing 1.3% in October. Nondurable goods shipments ticked down 0.04% (-2.5% y/y) in November following a 1.8% decline in October. Durable goods industry shipments were up 1.0% last month (+1.85% y/y) after a decrease of 0.8% in October. Shipments of transportation equipment increased 2.3% (2.6% y/y) in November, exactly reversing a 2.3% decrease the month before. Excluding transportation, durable goods industry shipments rose 0.5% in November after decreasing 0.2% in October.

Unfilled orders for durable goods rose 1.3% last month after a 0.4% increase in October. The November amount was up 8.8% from a year ago. Excluding transportation, unfilled orders edged down just 0.1% last month (-0.7% y/y) following a similar 0.1% decrease in October.

Inventories of all manufacturing industries ticked up 0.1% (-0.2% y/y) in November after being unchanged in October. Inventories of durable goods industries were also up 0.1% last month (+1.1% y/y) following a 0.2% increase in October. And excluding transportation, other durable goods industries also saw their inventories inch up 0.1% (+0.8% y/y) in November, although they were basically unchanged in October. Inventories of nondurable goods industries similarly rose 0.1% in November, although they had fallen 0.3% in October and the November amount was down 2.2% from a year ago.

Manufacturers’ orders and shipments of durable goods, as well as nondurable goods, are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau; they are available in Haver’s USECON database. Unfilled orders and inventories are also included. The Action Economics forecast data are in the AS1REPNA database.

  • Carol Stone, CBE came to Haver Analytics in 2003 following more than 35 years as a financial market economist at major Wall Street financial institutions, most especially Merrill Lynch and Nomura Securities. She has broad experience in analysis and forecasting of flow-of-funds accounts, the federal budget and Federal Reserve operations. At Nomura Securites, among other duties, she developed various indicator forecasting tools and edited a daily global publication produced in London and New York for readers in Tokyo.   At Haver Analytics, Carol is a member of the Research Department, aiding database managers with research and documentation efforts, as well as posting commentary on select economic reports. In addition, she conducts Ways-of-the-World, a blog on economic issues for an Episcopal-Church-affiliated website, The Geranium Farm.   During her career, Carol served as an officer of the Money Marketeers and the Downtown Economists Club. She has a PhD from NYU's Stern School of Business. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and has a weekend home on Long Island.

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