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Economy in Brief
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by Tom Moeller January 28, 2016
New orders for durable goods tumbled 5.1% (-0.6% y/y) during December following a -0.5% decline in November, revised from little change in the advance report. A 0.2% decline had been expected in the Action Economics' Forecast Survey. A 3.3% decline in orders during all of last year similarly emphasizes the factory sector's difficulties.
A 12.4% decline (+5.5% y/y) in transportation sector orders led the weakness in the report. Orders from the Defense Department for aircraft stumbled by roughly two-thirds (-38.4% y/y). Nondefense aircraft orders declined 28.4% (+67.9% y/y) and motor vehicle & parts orders eased 0.4% (+4.5% y/y).
Outside of the transportation, orders were similarly weak last month. A 1.2% decline (-3.2% y/y) reflected a 5.6% drop in machinery orders (-6.2% y/y), the fourth decline in five months. Computer & electronic product bookings fell 2.0% (+7.5% y/y). Fabricated metals orders eased 0.5% (-5.3% y/y). To the upside, primary metals orders gained 0.3% (-15.7% y/y) following sharp declines in five of the prior six months. Electrical machinery orders increased 2.1%, but they still were down 7.7% y/y. Nondefense capital goods orders gained 0.5% (-0.1% y/y), though excluding aircraft, orders dropped 4.3% (-7.5% y/y).
Shipments of durable goods declined 2.2% (-2.5% y/y), although excluding transportation they were little changed (-2.7% y/y). Unfilled orders declined 0.5% (-1.9% y/y) and excluding transportation, they also fell 0.5% (-2.2% y/y). Inventories backed up 0.5% (-0.1% y/y), but that followed five straight months of decline.
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||Dec||Nov||Oct||Dec Y/Y||2015||2014||2013|
|New Orders (SA, %)||-5.1||-0.5||2.8||-0.6||-3.3||6.8||2.2|
|Total Excluding Transportation||-1.2||-0.5||0.5||-3.2||-2.5||7.2||0.1|
|Nondefense Capital Goods||-15.0||-8.1||12.0||-12.3||-10.3||6.6||2.8|