US durable goods orders rise 3% in Dec from Nov

26 January 2012 14:29  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US orders for manufactured durable goods rose by 3% in December from November, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, marking the third consecutive month of gains and the fifth monthly advance in the past six months.

In its monthly report, the department said that durable goods orders rose by $6.2bn (€4.7bn) to $214.5bn in the last month of 2011, and followed an upwardly revised 4.3% advance in November.

Durable goods are manufactured products meant to last three years or more and include items such as automobiles, appliances, transportation and manufacturing equipment. 

Many durable goods, such as computers and automobiles, are major downstream markets for chemicals, resins and derivatives used in manufacturing processes or as end-product components.

Within December’s figures, new orders for transportation equipment led, with a gain of 5.5%. That advance was driven largely by a near-19% jump in new orders for civilian aircraft and parts.

The department said that with new orders for transportation equipment are backed out of the overall totals, durable goods orders rose by 2.1% in December.

Orders for transportation equipment – such as civilian airliners, military equipment and autos – often vary widely month-to-month, so economists look to durable goods orders minus transportation to get a more balanced indication of manufacturing growth.

The report also said that unfilled orders for durable goods rose by $13.1bn or 1.5% in December to $912.3bn, and followed a 1.4% gain in November. Unfilled orders for durable goods have increased for 20 of the past 21 months.

Inventories of produced but unsold durable goods rose marginally in December, the department said, climbing by $1.2bn or 0.3% to $370.1bn.

This category has shown advances for 24 consecutive months and is at the highest level since the data set was initiated.

US durable goods orders and inventories*


 Dec           (bn $)

Dec vs Nov   (%)

Nov vs Oct (r) (%)

New orders




Unfilled orders




Total inventories




r: revised  *seasonally adjusted

($1 = €0.76)

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