New orders for manufactured durable goods in September decreased $3.8 billion or 1.7% to $214.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced on Oct. 25. This was the second consecutive monthly decrease and followed a 5.3% August decrease.
Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.3%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%t.
"Although durable goods orders fell, the best indicator of private equipment investment increased by 0.4%," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. " That is the way it is this year in the industrial sector -- a very mixed environment with lots of ups and downs and relatively little overall gain.
"The motor vehicle industry is in a slow decline, industries that supply housing related items are experiencing sharp reductions and the industrial equipment industry is relatively flat. There are islands of prosperity (aerospace, medical equipment, and mining and drilling equipment) but their positive growth momentum is diluted by all the other problems. Manufacturing production is growing, but at a sluggish pace."