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Economy in Brief

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Ease in September
by Tom Moeller  October 27, 2016

New orders for durable goods slipped 0.1% (+1.6% y/y) during September after a 0.3% August rise, revised from zero change. A 0.2% gain had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Despite the latest decline, downward momentum in orders has reversed.

Nondefense capital goods orders improved 1.5%, but were little changed y/y. Orders excluding aircraft declined 1.2% (-4.1% y/y), and fully reversed the prior months strength. During the last three months, however, these orders have risen at a 3.3% rate.

Orders for transportation equipment fell 0.8% (+4.9% y/y) following a 0.6% increase. Aircraft & parts bookings declined 9.2% due to a 44.8% drop (-54.7% y/y) in orders for defense aircraft. Nondefense aircraft & parts orders rebounded 12.5% (14.4% y/y) after a 24.2% decline.

New orders outside of the transportation sector improved 0.2% (-0.0% y/y) after a 0.1% rise. Electrical equipment orders rebounded 1.5% (-2.7% y/y) following a 2.4% decline. Machinery orders grew 1.2% (-6.0% y/y) following little change. Offsetting these increases was a 1.0% decline (+1.9% y/y) in computer & electronic product orders which followed a 0.2% dip. Computer & related product orders declined 8.6% (-17.7% y/y); their value has been falling steadily since the economic recovery began. Primary metals orders eased 0.3% (+0.4% y/y) after two months of strong increase while fabricated metals orders fell 0.4% (+2.6% y/y).

Shipments of durable goods increased 0.8% (-1.1% y/y) after little change during the prior two months. Outside of the transportation sector shipments improved 0.1% (-1.1% y/y) after two months of 0.3% gain. Unfilled orders fell 0.4% (-1.6% y/y), the fourth consecutive month of decline. Outside of the transportation sector, backlogs improved 0.2% (0.7% y/y) after a 0.1% uptick. Inventories of durable goods increased 0.1% (-1.6% y/y) for a second month, while excluding aircraft they rose 0.2% (-1.8% y/y) for the third month in four.

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 Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
New Orders (SA, %) -0.1 0.3 3.6 1.6 -2.9 4.8 2.8
  Transportation -0.8 0.6 8.9 4.9 -4.0 6.8 8.8
Total Excluding Transportation 0.2 0.1 1.1 -0.0 -2.3 3.8 -0.1
  Nondefense Capital Goods 1.5 -3.9 7.7 -0.1 -9.6 1.2 4.2
    Excluding Aircraft -1.2 1.2 0.8 -4.1 -3.2 0.8 0.4
Shipments 0.8 -0.0 0.0 -1.1 1.1 3.5 2.8
Unfilled Orders -0.4 -0.1 -0.2 -1.6 -2.4 8.6 5.7
Inventories 0.1 0.1 0.4 -1.6 -0.6 5.2 1.0
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