Orders for manufactured durable goods gained 1.3 percent in October, said the Commerce Department last week, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth. Orders totaled $240.8 billion following a 2.1 percent gain in September.
Transportation orders, up five of the last six months, grew 1.2 percent to $77.1 billion. Orders for commercial aircraft and parts surged 39 percent after three months of no sales. Aircraft orders for defense jumped 79 percent in October.
Motor vehicles and parts orders dipped 3.2 percent to $60.1 billion. The metals industry saw some improvement with orders for fabricated metals up 2.3 percent and primary metals gaining 0.4 percent. Orders for machinery fell 0.6 percent.
Core capital goods—non-defense minus aircraft and a proxy for future investment—rose 0.7 percent following a 1.9 percent surge in September.
Although the economy has been growing, economists are still cautious due to the surge of COVID-19 cases and potential disruptions to business.
The October 2020 advance report on durable goods manufacturers’ shipments, inventories and orders follows:
New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased $3.0 billion or 1.3 percent to $240.8 billion. This increase, up six consecutive months, followed a 2.1 percent September increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.3 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.2 percent. Transportation equipment, up five of the last six months, led the increase by $0.9 billion or 1.2 percent to $77.1 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in October, up five of the last six months, increased $3.1 billion or 1.3 percent to $248.7 billion. This followed a 0.5 percent September increase. Fabricated metal products, also up five of the last six months, led the increase by $0.7 billion or 2.4 percent to $30.9 billion.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in October, down seven of the last eight months, decreased $2.8 billion or 0.3 percent to $1,073.2 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent September decrease. Transportation equipment, down eight consecutive months, drove the decrease by $4.6 billion or 0.6 percent to $717.0 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods in October, up two consecutive months, increased $1.3 billion or 0.3 percent to $422.8 billion. This followed a 0.3 percent September increase. Transportation equipment, up 25 of the last 26 months, led the increase by $0.6 billion or 0.4 percent to $148.2 billion.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods in October decreased $0.2 billion or 0.2 percent to $70.5 billion. Shipments increased $2.6 billion or 3.7 percent to $73.2 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $2.7 billion or 0.5 percent to $591.3 billion. Inventories increased $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $193.6 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in October increased $2.4 billion or 23.1 percent to $12.7 billion. Shipments increased $0.4 billion or 3.3 percent to $12.5 billion. Unfilled orders increased $0.2 billion or 0.1 percent to $179.7 billion. Inventories decreased $0.1 billion or 0.3 percent to $21.5 billion.
Revised September Data
Revised seasonally adjusted September figures for all manufacturing industries were: new orders, $476.0 billion (revised from $475.0 billion); shipments, $483.9 billion (revised from $482.8 billion); unfilled orders, $1,075.9 billion (unchanged); and total inventories, $686.2 billion (revised from $686.7 billion).
Sandy WilliamsRead more from Sandy Williams
Latest in Economy
Fed Beige Book: Economic activity slows in many districts
In its Beige Book report released on Nov. 29, the Federal Reserve noted slower economic activity since October's report.
American steel firms’ fundamentals sound for 2024: Fitch
Sector fundamentals for US steel companies remain solid overall, according to ratings agency Fitch’s 2024 outlook report.
Durable goods orders slip in October
New orders for manufactured durable goods fell in the US in October.
October US housing starts inch higher but remain down on-year
US housing starts crept higher for a second consecutive month in October. Starts were lower, however than the same month last year, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau.
NAHB: Builder Confidence Down for Multifamily and Single-Family Starts
Increasing mortgage rates have caused builders to lose confidence in the market, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).