New orders for durable goods up 0.1% in August

New orders for (manufactured) durable goods increased by 0.1% or $0.3 billion in August to $224.9 billion.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the data in a report – “Advance Report on Durable Goods Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders August 2013”.

In economics, durable goods (hard goods) are those that do not wear out rapidly, they yield utility over time rather than being completely consumed in one go.

Bricks are examples of durable goods, they remain in use, in the wall of a house, for example, for a very long time.

During four of the last five months, durable goods new orders have increased. In July, however, they had dropped by 8.1%. New orders fell by 0.1% if transportation is excluded. Excluding defense, new orders rose by 0.5%.

The Commerce Department says that transportation equipment demand increased by $0.5 billion (0.7%) to $67.9 billion. Motor vehicles and parts saw good demand in August.

Shipments

After decreasing for two consecutive months, shipments of manufactured durable goods increased by 0.9% or $2.1 billion to $231.5 billion.

The Commerce Department wrote: “This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992, and followed a 0.1 percent July decrease.”

Transportation, increased 1.5% or $1 billion to $69.7 billion after falling for two consecutive months.

Unfilled Orders

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in August rose $0.4 billion to $1,032.4 billion, the sixth increase in the last seven months.

The Commerce Department wrote: “This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis, and followed a 0.2 percent July increase.”

Machinery, which increased $1.3 billion or 1.2 percent to $107.5 billion, drove the increase in unfilled orders.

Inventories

In August, inventories of manufactured durable goods rose $0.3 billion or 0.1 percent to $379.1 billion, the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis. July saw an increase of 0.3%.

The inventories increase was driven by transportation equipment, which has been increasing during fifteen of the last sixteen months. In August, transportation inventories rose $0.4 billion or 0.3 percent to $117.3 billion.

Capital Goods

Orders for capital goods, excluding defense, fell $0.1 billion or 0.2 percent to $75.9 billion in August. Shipments rose 0.4% or $0.3 billion to $73.8 billion. Unfilled orders rose 0.3% or $2.1 billion to $610.4 billion. Inventories increased 0.4% or $0.7 billion to $172.1 billion.

New orders for defense capital goods fell 6.5% or $0.6 billion to $8.4 billion.

A Markit Report informed that the flash PMI (Purchasing Manager’s Index) for U.S. manufacturing decreased to a three month low in September to 52.8.

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