New orders for manufactured durable goods fell $5.8 billion, or 2.1%, from October to $270.6 billion in November, according to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau on Dec. 23.
It’s a significant drop that follows three consecutive monthly increases, including a 0.7% increase in October (revised from the initially reported 1%). Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecasted a 1.1% decrease for durable goods — products meant to last at least three years — in November.
Transportation equipment, which had also increased each of the past three months, instead propelled the decrease in November, sinking 6.3%.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods, up 18 of the last 19 months, increased 0.2% in November, following a 0.4% increase in October. Transportation equipment, up 13 of the last 14 months, drove the increase in shipments at 0.8%.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods remained virtually unchanged in November, experiencing a decrease of less than 0.1%. This snapped a streak of 26 consecutive monthly increases. Transportation equipment led the decrease, falling 0.1% to snap a streak of 18 consecutive monthly increases.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods, up 22 consecutive months, increased 0.1% in November. Machinery, up 25 consecutive months, led inventories with a 0.5 increase.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods decreased 7.6% in November. Shipments increased 0.8%, unfilled orders decreased 0.2% and inventories increased 0.1%.
Defense new orders for capital goods, meanwhile, increased 8% in November. Shipments decreased 0.2%, unfilled orders increased 0.6% and inventories increased 1.8%.