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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Improve; Bookings for Capital Goods Ease
by Tom Moeller  April 26, 2016

New orders for durable goods increased 0.8% during March (-2.5% y/y) following a 3.1% February decline, revised from -2.8%. A 1.9% improvement had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

A 2.9% rebound (-4.8% y/y) in orders for transportation equipment led the overall increase. It was paced by a 13.2% recovery (-28.2% y/y) in aircraft orders which followed a 27.7% decline. Motor vehicle & parts bookings declined 3.0% (+3.1% y/y) after a 0.5% rise.

Orders for nondefense capital goods declined 1.1% (-11.6% y/y) following an 8.0% drop. Bookings excluding aircraft were little changed (-2.4% y/y) after a 2.7% shortfall.

Machinery orders improved 0.5% (-0.2% y/y) following a 3.5% slump. Computers & electronic product bookings were off 0.6% (-1.6% y/y) after a 0.9% fall. Electrical equipment orders fell another 3.0% (-10.9% y/y), down for a second consecutive month. Fabricated metals orders declined 1.6% (+0.4% y/y), but primary metals orders improved 0.8% (-9.0% y/y).

Shipments of durable goods slipped 0.5% (-1.5% y/y) following a 1.0% decline. Shipments excluding transportation edged 0.2% higher (-2.0% y/y). Order backlogs of durable goods eased 0.1% (-1.7% y/y) and less transportation, they gained 0.1% (-0.9% y/y). Durable goods inventories remained steady (-1.7% y/y), and excluding transportation, they were up 0.1% (-3.0% 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 2015 2014 2013
New Orders (SA, %) 0.8 -3.1 4.3 -2.5 -3.3 6.8 2.2
  Transportation 2.9 -6.7 10.6 -4.8 -4.8 6.1 6.5
Total Excluding Transportation -0.2 -1.3 1.4 -1.4 -2.5 7.2 0.1
  Nondefense Capital Goods -1.1 -8.0 20.7 -11.6 -10.2 6.6 2.8
    Excluding Aircraft -0.0 -2.7 3.3 -2.4 -3.7 6.3 -1.0
Shipments -0.5 -1.0 1.4 -1.5 1.6 4.8 2.0
Inventories 0.0 -0.3 -0.2 -1.7 -0.4 6.1 2.4
Unfilled Orders -0.1 -0.4 0.1 -1.7 -1.9 11.4 6.4
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