US durable goods orders jump 4.2% in July on airliner sales

24 August 2012 15:10  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--New orders for US durable goods rose by 4.2% in July from June, the Department of Commerce said on Friday, but that sharp gain was attributed wholly to a 54% jump in airliner sales, while all other durable goods orders fell by 0.4% for the month.

In its monthly report, the department said that durable goods orders rose by $9.4bn (€7.5bn) to $230.7bn in July, the third consecutive monthly advance.

Durable goods orders had registered a 1.6% gain in June, but that advance also was credited chiefly to orders for aircraft and other transportation equipment while all remaining categories declined by a combined 1.1%.

Aircraft orders often are made in multiple-plane purchases and in any given month those commitments – or their lack – can affect manufacturing data disproportionately. 

Consequently, economists typically look to durable goods sales minus transportation equipment to get a better sense of the so-called core of US manufacturing. 

With transportation orders removed from the overall totals, durable goods orders in July fell by 0.4%, the department said.

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

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

Also in the monthly report, the department said that unfilled orders for durable goods in July rose by $7.8bn, or 0.8%, to $996.3bn, the second straight month of gains. Unfilled orders had seen a 0.4% advance in June.

Inventories of manufactured but unsold durable goods also rose in July, rising by $2.7bn, or 0.7%, to $369.3bn, the highest level since the current data series began.

The department noted that in both unfilled orders and inventories, transportation equipment made the largest gains.

US durable goods orders and inventories*


 July          (bn $)

July vs June   (%)

June vs May (r) (%)

New orders




Unfilled orders




Total inventories




r: revised  *seasonally adjusted

($1 = €0.80)

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

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