The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Durable Goods New Orders Down 1.8 percent in May

Transportation equipment drove the decrease, down 6.4 percent.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in May decreased $4.1 billion or 1.8 percent to $228.9 billion, according to an advance report from the U.S. Census Bureau. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 1.5 percent April decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 2.1 percent.

Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $4.9 billion or 6.4 percent to $71.7 billion.

“Although the U.S. economy has climbed out of the significant weakness seen in the early months of the year, the recent mixed data suggest moderate, hesitant growth, a theme well-reflected in the details of the May report on durables spending," said Cliff Waldman, director of economic studies for the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. “Modest demand was seen in a wide range of key industry sectors such as fabricated metals, machinery, and computers. But five months of data for 2015 make it clear that an uncertain outlook is weighing on big-ticket spending."

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in May, down four of the last five months, decreased $0.2 billion or 0.1 percent to $239.9 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent April decrease.

Transportation equipment, also down four of the last five months, drove the decrease, $0.7 billion or 0.9 percent to $76.7 billion.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in May, down five of the last six months, decreased $5.7 billion or 0.5 percent to $1,195.5 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent April decrease.

Transportation equipment, also down five of the last six months, led the decrease, $5.1 billion or 0.6 p percent to $798.8 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in May, down following twenty-three consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.8 billion or 0.2 percent to $400.6 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent April increase.

Transportation equipment, down two of the last three months, led the decrease, $0.3 billion or 0.2 percent to $129.9 billion.

Nondefense new orders for capital goods in May decreased $5.2 billion or 6.6 percent to $74.3 billion. Shipments decreased $0.5 billion or 0.6 percent to $79.3 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $5 billion or 0.7 percent to $757.1 billion. Inventories decreased $1.1 billion or 0.6 percent to $176.2 billion.

Defense new orders for capital goods in May increased $0.7 billion or 8.2 percent to $8.8 billion. Shipments increased less than $0.1 billion or 0.3 percent to $9.5 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $0.7 billion or 0.5 percent to $150.6 billion. Inventories decreased less than $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $21.6 billion.

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