Durable goods orders were flat in August after making gains in July. In the latest report by the Department of Commerce, new orders for manufactured durable goods, excluding transportation were down 0.4 percent, and orders excluding defense were down 1.0 percent.
Orders for core capital goods, a proxy for business spending which excludes both military and aircraft, rose 0.6 percent, for a third consecutive monthly increase. Shipments of core capital goods decreased 0.4 percent to $231.7 billion after posting no change in July.
Commerce revised July’s total for new orders downward from 4.4 percent to 3.6 percent.
Bloomberg commented, “August results, though flat, are better than expected. Still, the data point to more of the same for the factory sector, a flat trajectory reflecting weakness in global demand and specific weakness in business investment.”
The report from Commerce follows:
New Orders. New orders for manufactured durable goods in August decreased $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $226.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 3.6 percent July increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.0 percent. Electrical equipment, appliances, and components, down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $0.2 billion or 2.5 percent to $9.6 billion.
Shipments. Shipments of manufactured durable goods in August, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.8 billion or 0.4 percent to $231.7 billion. This followed a virtually unchanged July increase. Transportation equipment, down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $0.9 billion or 1.1 percent to $79.9 billion.
Unfilled Orders. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in August, down three consecutive months, decreased $1.5 billion or 0.1 percent to $1,123.4 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent July decrease. Transportation equipment, also down three consecutive months, drove the decrease, $1.8 billion or 0.2 percent to $769.2 billion.
Inventories. Inventories of manufactured durable goods in August, up two consecutive months, increased $0.5 billion or 0.1 percent to $383.7 billion. This followed a 0.4 percent July increase. Machinery, up two of the last three months, led the increase, $0.3 billion or 0.5 percent to $65.7 billion.
Capital Goods. Nondefense new orders for capital goods in August decreased $3.1 billion or 4.4 percent to $66.9 billion. Shipments decreased $1.4 billion or 1.9 percent to $70.1 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $3.1 billion or 0.4 percent to $696.3 billion. Inventories increased $0.3 billion or 0.2 percent to $169.7 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in August increased $2.3 billion or 23.6 percent to $11.9 billion. Shipments decreased $0.2 billion or 2.3 percent to $10.3 billion. Unfilled orders increased $1.5 billion or 1.1 percent to $137.2 billion. Inventories decreased $0.4 billion or 2.0 percent to $20.7 billion.
Revised July Data. Revised seasonally adjusted July figures for all manufacturing industries were: new orders, $452.9 billion (revised from $454.8 billion); shipments, $458.4 billion (revised from $458.9 billion); unfilled orders, $1,124.9 billion (revised from $1,126.3 billion); and total inventories, $620.5 billion (revised from $620.3 billion).
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