Durable Goods Decrease in October

Third monthly decrease

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased $0.9 billion or 0.4% to $214.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Nov. 28. This was the third consecutive monthly decrease and followed a 1.4% September decrease.

Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.7%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.9%.

"While durable goods orders declined 0.4% in October, orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, the best indicator of current equipment investment, fell 2.3% last month," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "Manufacturing production is declining and factory capacity utilization is falling as the housing collapse and weakness in motor vehicle sales reduce demand, and high commodity and energy prices squeeze profit margins.

"While strong exports and easing import competition will cushion the blow to the durable goods industries, domestic demand for capital equipment is declining," he added."New orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft in the first ten months of this year are down 1.7% from the same period one year ago. The low investment activity indicates businesses remain cautious regarding the outlook for next year."

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