Durable Goods Data: Is a New Pattern Forming?

New orders for Durable Goods took a bit of a downturn during April, dropping 3.6%, as growth in demand for durable goods slumped for the second of the last three months. Orders were particularly weak for transportation equipment (NYSE:XLI) — down 9.5%.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to the economic data:

New Orders. New orders for manufactured durable goods in April decreased $7.1 billion or 3.6 percent to $189.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease comes on the heels of a 3.1 percent March increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.5 percent. Excluding defense (NYSE:PPA), new orders increased 3.6 percent. Transportation equipment, up three consecutive months prior to April, had the largest decrease, down $4.9 billion or 9.5% percent to $46.7 billion.

Shipments. Shipments of manufactured durable goods decreased in April, following four consecutive months of growth. Shipments shed $2 billion or 1 percent to $194.9 billion. This followed a 3.1 percent March increase. Transportation equipment, also down after being up four consecutive months, had the largest decrease, $1.5 billion or 3.0 percent to  $46.6billion.

Unfilled Orders. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in March, up twelve of the last thirteen months, increased $1.6 billion or 0.2 percent to $849.5 billion. This followed a 0.7 percent March increase. Machinery, up fifteen consecutive months, had the largest increase, $2.2 billion or 2.2 percent to $103.6 billion.

Inventories. Inventories of manufactured durable goods in April, up fifteen consecutive months, increased $3.2 billion or 0.9 percent to $350.5 billion. This followed a 1.7 percent March increase. Transportation equipment, also up sixteen consecutive months, had the largest increase, $1.0 billion or 1.0 percent to $106.1 billion.

Capital Goods (NYSE:XLI). Nondefense new orders for capital goods in April decreased $5.3 billion or 7.3 percent to $67.6 billion. Shipments decreased $1.1 billion or 1.6 percent to $66 billion. Unfilled orders increased $1.6 billion or 0.3 percent to $495.5 billion. Inventories increased $2.2 billion or 1.4 percent to $157.8 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in March decreased $0.5 billion or 5.8 percent to $8.0 billion. Shipments decreased $0.4 billion or 4.5 percent to $8.1 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $0.1 billion to $147.7 billion. Inventories increased $0.2 billion or 0.8 percent to $20.8 billion.

Revised March Data. Revised seasonally adjusted March figures for all manufacturing industries were: new orders, $445.3 billion (revised from $444.2 billion); shipments, $445.2 billion (revised from $443.5 billion); unfilled orders, $847.8 billion (revised from $848.3 billion); and total inventories, $579.6 billion (revised from $578.7 billion).

Durable Goods Definition: Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) data is based upon data reported from manufacturing establishments with $500 million or more in annual shipments. Units may be divisions of diversified large companies, large homogenous companies, or single-unit manufacturers in 89 industry categories.

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