US May durable goods orders rise 3.6% on a 51% bump in aircraft

25 June 2013 15:06  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--New orders for US durable goods rose by a strong 3.6% in May from April, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, with a sharp 51% jump in aircraft orders again driving much of the gain.

In its monthly report, the department said that new orders for durable goods rose by $8bn (€6.08bn) or 3.6% to $231bn.

May’s increase, the third monthly gain in the last four months, echoed the 3.6% advance seen in April.

Much of the May advance in new orders was laid to the 51% jump in sales of civilian aircraft and parts, which rose from $12.34bn in April to $18.63bn last month.

With aircraft and other transportation equipment sales backed out of the overall total, durable goods orders rose by 0.7% in May.

Transportation orders are often separated from the overall durable goods data because aviation purchases frequently are made in multiple-plane batches and in any given month those sales or their lack can disproportionately affect the big picture.

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 chemicals-based products used in manufacturing processes or as end-product components.

The report also noted that unfilled orders for durable goods rose in May by $8.1bn or 0.8% to $1,004.7bn. That advance followed a 0.3% gain in April and marked the third monthly gain in four months.

Inventories of unsold manufactured durable goods also rose in May, the department said, up slightly by $0.5bn or 0.1% from April to $378.0bn. The May gain was the fourth advance in five months and followed a 0.3% increase in April.

US durable goods orders and inventories*



(bn $)

May vs Apr


Apr vs Mar (r)


New orders




Unfilled orders




Total inventories




r: revised  *seasonally adjusted

($1 = €0.76)

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

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