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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Increase Is Broad-Based
by Tom Moeller  August 25, 2016

New orders for durable goods rose 4.4% during July (-3.3% y/y) following a 4.2% June decline, revised from -3.9%. A 3.3% increase had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The rise in orders was led by a 10.5% jump (-7.9% y/y) in orders for transportation equipment. Nondefense aircraft & parts orders surged 89.9% (-21.1% y/y) following a 59.7% drop. Defense aircraft bookings gained  20.3% (-4.5% y/y) after three months of sharp decline. Motor vehicle & parts orders remained little changed (-2.1% y/y), and have been moving sideways for a year.

Orders outside of the transportation sector increased 1.5% (-0.6% y/y) to the highest level since January. Nevertheless, orders remained 4.6% below the mid-2014 peak. Orders for computers & electronic products increased 3.6% (3.5% y/y) as computers & related product orders rose 10.3% (-9.2% y/y). Electrical equipment & appliance orders gained 2.6% (-4.9% y/y) and machinery orders rose 1.6% (-5.3% y/y). Fabricated metal orders rose 1.5% (3.3% y/y) while primary metal orders improved 1.4% (-4.1% y/y).

Nondefense capital goods orders rebounded 10.2% (-8.6% y/y) following two months of sharp decline. Orders excluding aircraft recovered 1.6% (-4.9% y/y) to the highest level in six months.

Shipments of durable goods improved 0.2%, but also have been moving sideways since late last year. Shipments outside of the transportation sector improved 0.4% (-1.4% y/y) following several months of little change. Unfilled orders of durable goods were roughly unchanged (-2.1% y/y), but rose 0.3% (0.2% y/y) excluding transportation to the highest level since April of last year. Inventories increased 0.3% (-2.6% y/y) to the highest level in tree months. Outside of transportation inventories rose 0.3% (-3.2% y/y), only the second rise since early last year.

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 Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
New Orders (SA, %) 4.4 -4.2 -2.9 -3.3 -2.9 4.8 2.8
  Transportation 10.5 -11.4 -7.1 -7.9 -4.0 6.8 8.8
Total Excluding Transportation 1.5 -0.3 -0.5 -0.6 -2.3 3.8 -0.1
  Nondefense Capital Goods 10.2 -10.9 -1.7 -8.6 -9.6 1.2 4.2
    Excluding Aircraft 1.6 0.5 -0.6 -4.9 -3.2 0.8 0.4
Shipments 0.2 0.5 -0.3 -2.2 1.1 3.5 2.8
Unfilled Orders -0.1 -0.9 0.0 -2.1 -2.4 8.6 5.7
Inventories 0.3 -0.1 -0.4 -2.6 -0.6 5.2 1.0
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