The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

New Orders for Durable Goods Decline in August

Excluding transportation, new orders increased 2 percent.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in August decreased $2.5 billion or 1.3 percent to $191.1 billion in August, according to the latest release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Down three of the last four months, this decrease followed a 0.7 percent July increase.

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Excluding transportation, new orders increased 2.0 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.2 percent. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, had the largest decrease, $5.3 billion or 10.3 percent to $46.6 billion. This was due to nondefense aircraft and parts, which decreased $3.6 billion.

\”The August report on the demand for long-lasting goods indicates that capital spending continues to be a positive contributor to overall economic growth in the U.S. even as consumer spending and housing demand raise concerns about the strength of the economic expansion,\” says Cliff Waldman, economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. \”While total new orders fell by 1.3 percent they remain 15 percent above year-ago levels, albeit a comparison to a very weak period.\”

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in August, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $3.1 billion or 1.5 percent to $197.9 billion. This followed a 2.5 percent July increase. Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $3.1 billion or 5.9 percent to $49.5 billion.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in August, down two consecutive months, decreased $0.8 billion or 0.1 percent to $802.4 billion. This followed a 0.1 percent July decrease. Transportation equipment, down following four consecutive months, had the largest decrease, $3.0 billion or 0.6 percent to $473.1 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in August, up eight consecutive months, increased $1.3 billion or 0.4 percent to $312.4 billion. This followed a 0.6 percent July increase. Transportation equipment, up eight consecutive months, had the largest increase, $0.6 billion or 0.7 percent to $80.9 billion.

Nondefense new orders for capital goods in August decreased $0.6 billion or 0.9 percent to $64.9 billion. Shipments decreased $0.2 billion or 0.3 percent to $65.5 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $0.5 billion or 0.1 percent to $487.2 billion. Inventories increased $1.1 billion or 0.8 percent to $130.8 billion.

Defense new orders for capital goods in August decreased $0.1 billion or 1.5 percent to $9.4 billion. Shipments decreased $0.4 billion or 4.2 percent to $9.2 billion. Unfilled orders increased $0.2 billion or 0.1 percent to $139.8 billion. Inventories decreased $0.3 billion or 1.9 percent to $17.6 billion.

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