Manufactured durable goods in October decreased $1.0 billion or 0.6%to $166.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced on Nov. 25.
This was the second monthly decrease in the last three months. This followed a 2% September increase.
Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1.3%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.4%.
Machinery, down following two consecutive monthly increases, had the largest decrease, $1.9 billion or 8% to $21.8 billion.
"A mixture of a large gains in civilian aerospace orders and large declines in defense orders were indicative of the up and down nature of today's report on durable goods," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.
"Material industries like steel and fabricated metal products benefited from an inventory induced rebound while much of the capital equipment industries posted a sharp decline in October orders. A good indicator of the business equipment sector, nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, fell 2.9% in October following a 2.6% increase the previous month.
"The report confirms the tenor of the October industrial production report released last week by the Federal Reserve, that the industrial expansion has flattened out after an aggressive rebound from July to September that was narrowly led by government stimulus and inventory swings," he added. "While we are convinced that the industrial recession has ended, the chance of a vigorous recovery is remote. Capital goods industries are impaired by excess capacity and accelerating declines in nonresidential construction. The industrial recovery will likely be relatively slow and punctuated by fits of growth and decline."