Durable Goods Orders Were Flat in December
New orders for manufactured durable goods were flat in December, coming in at $295.56B. This is a 0.0% change from the previous month and is less than the expected 1.1% rise. The series is up 4.8% year-over-year (YoY). If we exclude transportation, "core" durable goods were up 0.6% from the previous month and up 2.3% from one year ago.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in December, up three of the last four months, increased $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $295.6 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This followed a 5.5 percent November increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.6 percent. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.5 percent. Primary metals, also up three of the last four months, drove the increase, $0.4 billion or 1.4 percent to $27.1 billion.
Durable goods refers to tangible products that can be stored or inventoried and that have an average life of at least three years. Durable goods are typically expensive and therefore tend to be purchased when there is confidence in the economy. New orders for durable goods are a leading indicator, meaning when purchases increase it typically hints at an improvement to the economy. On the flip side, when the new orders trend down it is indicating a lack of confidence in the economy.