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New Durable Goods Orders Dipped Slightly in February

New durable goods orders declined 2.2% from a record $277.6 billion in January to $271.5 billion in February, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

More declines: Sales of nondefense aircraft and parts declined 30.4% in February, and orders for motor vehicles and parts sank for the second straight month, down 0.5%.

  • Excluding transportation equipment, new durable goods orders slipped 0.6% last month.
  • Sales in February also weakened for communications equipment (down 5.4%), machinery (down 2.6%), primary metals (down 0.9%) and fabricated metal products (down 0.1%).
  • Core capital goods, which are a proxy for capital spending in the economy, decreased 0.3% in February, down to $80.1 billion from January’s record of $80.3 billion.

Some increases: There was higher demand for some goods in February. These included: 

  • Defense aircraft and parts (up 60.1%);
  • Computers and related products (up 4.4%);
  • Other durable goods (up 0.8%); and
  • Electrical equipment, appliances and components (up 0.2%).

The NAM says: “Even with some easing, the latest durable goods data continue to reflect a strong upward trend, even as manufacturers struggle with supply chain bottlenecks, worker shortages and soaring costs,” NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray said. “New orders have jumped 12.7% over the past 12 months, or 11.8% with transportation equipment excluded. Similarly, core capital goods orders have grown 11.0% since February 2021.”

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