US durable goods orders largely flat in Aug, rising by 0.1%

25 September 2013 15:09  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--New orders for US durable goods were essentially flat in August compared with July, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, rising by a slim 0.1% for the month as declines in purchases of civilian and military aircraft offset gains in automobiles and parts.

In its monthly report, the department said that new orders for US durable goods in August rose narrowly by $300m (€222m) to $224.9bn.

The modest August gain followed a downwardly revised 8.1% fall in durable goods orders in July, led by a 53% nose-dive in civilian aircraft and parts. The July durable goods decline had originally been estimated as 7.3%.

However narrow, the August durable goods results do mark the fourth monthly gain in the past five months.

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, resins and derivatives used in manufacturing processes or as end-product components.

Although new orders for automobiles and related parts showed a solid 2.4% advance in August from July, that gain was all but wiped out by an 11.8% decline in orders for military aircraft and a smaller 1.2% fall in purchases of civilian airliners and parts.

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

With all transportation items backed out of the total, overall durable goods orders were still modest, rising by 0.1%.

The report also noted that unfilled orders for US durable goods also were essentially flat in August, climbing by only $400m to $1.032tr, showing no statistical change. That flat line performance followed a 0.2% advance in July.

Inventories of produced but unsold durable goods also gained narrowly, rising by $300m or 0.1% to $379.1bn in August, following a 0.3% increase in July.

US durable goods orders and inventories*

 

Aug (bn $)

Aug vs July (%)

July vs June (r) (%)

New orders

224.9

0.1

-8.1

Unfilled orders

1,032.4

0.0

0.2

Total inventories

379.1

0.1

0.3

r: revised  *seasonally adjusted

($1 = €0.74)

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


By: Joe Kamalick
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