New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased $1.6 billion or 0.8% to $215.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced on July 25. This was the second consecutive monthly increase and followed a 0.1% May increase.
Excluding transportation, new orders increased 2%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.1%.
"The gain was a positive result of a large increase in defense orders and a large decline in civilian aerospace orders in June. For the first six months of 2008, though, new orders for durable goods declined 0.3% And the first half was a period of very rapid price increases.
Nondefense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft, increased 1.4% and was up 3.8% in first half 2008 versus the same period one year ago. The growth in this indicator for capital equipment activity is slightly above price inflation in the machinery industry. It appears that industries which are not overly impacted by the decline in housing and consumer durable spending are continuing to invest in capital equipment. The outlook for capital goods remains mixed -- some up, some down, and on average not much growth," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.