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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Decline; Capital Goods Backpedal
by Tom Moeller  March 24, 2016

New orders for durable goods declined 2.8% (+1.8% y/y) during February following a 4.2% January rise, revised from 4.9%. A 2.4% decline had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

A 6.2% drop (+7.1% y/y) in orders for transportation equipment led the overall decline. It was paced by a 27.7% shortfall (-3.6% y/y) in aircraft orders which followed a 59.4% jump. Motor vehicle & parts bookings gained 1.2% (11.8% y/y) after a 2.7% rise.

Orders for nondefense capital goods declined 7.5% (-3.7% y/y) following a 20.5% rise. Bookings excluding aircraft fell 1.8% (-0.1% y/y) after a 3.1% rise.

Machinery orders fell 2.6% (-0.9% y/y) following a 4.6% jump. Computers & electronic product orders were off 0.9% (+6.9% y/y), reversing a 0.9% increase. Electrical equipment orders fell 2.8% (-7.3% y/y), down for a second consecutive month. Fabricated metals orders declined 1.2% (+1.4% y/y), but primary metals orders eased just 0.1% (-11.9% y/y).

Shipments of durable goods declined 0.9% (+0.5% y/y) following a 1.5% rise. Shipments excluding transportation fell 0.7% (-2.0% y/y). Order backlogs of durable goods fell 0.4% (-1.6% y/y) and less transportation they eased 0.4% (-1.6% y/y). Durable goods inventories fell 0.3% (-1.6% y/y), and excluding transportation they also were off 0.3% (-2.9% 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 Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
New Orders (SA, %) -2.8 4.2 -4.6 1.8 -3.3 6.8 2.2
  Transportation -6.2 10.7 -12.2 7.1 -4.8 6.1 6.5
Total Excluding Transportation -1.0 1.2 -0.7 -0.5 -2.5 7.2 0.1
  Nondefense Capital Goods -7.5 20.5 -14.0 -3.7 -10.2 6.6 2.8
    Excluding Aircraft -1.8 3.1 -3.5 -0.1 -3.7 6.3 -1.0
Shipments -0.9 1.5 -1.8 0.5 1.6 4.8 2.0
Inventories -0.3 -0.2 0.2 -1.6 -0.4 6.1 2.4
Unfilled Orders -0.4 0.0 -0.5 -1.6 -1.9 11.4 6.4
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