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New Orders for Durable Goods Increase in July

New orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased $0.6 billion, or 0.3 percent, to $193.0 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase followed two consecutive monthly decreases.

Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 3.8 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.3 percent.

Transportation equipment had the largest increase, $6.1 billion, or 13.1 percent, to $52.6 billion. This was due to nondefense aircraft and parts, which increased $4.0 billion.

"Statistical evidence for July clearly show that the U.S. economy is decelerating in its pace of growth," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "Business spending continues to grow at a faster rate than the overall economy due to strong profitability and excessive capital spending restraint during the recession. With the initial return to growth, aided by an inventory swing, there was immediate need for repair and replacement equipment. Now that it seems clear that the recovery is moving at a slow and uneven pace, the need for equipment is less pressing and the impetus for growth switches to one of enhancing productivity to cut costs."

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in July, up four of the last five months, increased $4.4 billion or 2.2 percent to $200.6 billion. Transportation equipment had the largest increase, $3.4 billion or 6.9 percent, to $52.7 billion.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods decreased $1.1 billion or 0.1 percent to $802.8 billion. Computers and electronic products, down had the largest decrease, $0.5 billion or 0.4 percent to $121.1 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in July, up seven consecutive months, increased $1.8 billion or 0.6 percent to $311.2 billion. Machinery, up five consecutive months, had the largest increase, $0.9 billion or 1.9 percent to $51.4 billion.

Nondefense new orders for capital goods decreased 2.8 percent to $64.1 billion. Shipments increased 1.4 percent to $64.7 billion. Unfilled orders decreased 0.1 percent to $487.2 billion. Inventories increased 0.8 percent to $129.8 billion.

Defense new orders for capital goods in July decreased 2.2 percent to $9.5 billion. Shipments decreased 2.4 percent to $9.5 billion. Unfilled orders decreased slightly to $139.7 billion. Inventories increased 0.1 percent to $17.9 billion.

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