U.S. Durable Goods Orders Edge Slightly Lower For Second Straight Month

A report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday showed a modest decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of August.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders slipped by 0.2 percent in August after edging down by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected durable goods orders to decline by 0.4 percent.

The modest decreases seen in July and August came after durable goods orders spiked by 2.3 percent in June.

The continued dip by durable goods orders was largely due to a steep drop in orders for transportation equipment, which tumbled by 1.1 percent in August after sliding by 0.7 percent in July.

Orders for non-defense aircraft and parts led the way lower, plummeting by 18.5 percent in August after soaring by 12.1 percent in July.

Excluding the decrease in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders inched up by 0.2 percent in August, matching the uptick seen in July as well as economist estimates.

The report showed notable increases in orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components and computers and electronic products.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a key indicator of business spending, jumped by 1.3 percent in August after climbing by 0.7 percent in July.

The Commerce Department also said shipments in the same category, which is the source data for equipment investment in GDP, rose by 0.3 percent in August following a 0.6 percent increase in July.

“Looking ahead, a dwindling pipeline will offer a minimal growth impulse for manufacturing activity heading into 2023,” said Oren Klachkin, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, ‘Right now manufacturing carries enough momentum to withstand stress from downward pressures, but the confluence of highly elevated inflation, higher interest rates, weakening demand and downbeat sentiment will cause durable goods activity to struggle next year.”

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