Orders for big-ticket U.S.-manufactured goods slipped in August, the second consecutive monthly decline, buffeted by the volatile military and civilian aircraft categories that moved in opposite directions, according to government data released Tuesday.
Durable goods orders fell 0.2% to $272.7 billion last month, after a 0.1% decline in July, the Commerce Department reported. The result was far better than analysts had expected.
A huge double-digit drop in non-defense aircraft pushed the total down, while a massive 31.2% jump in military aircraft pushed the other way, the data showed.
Excluding defense aircraft, total new orders fell 0.9%.
Soaring U.S. inflation and supply chain snarls have challenged industry and consumers, causing a pullback in spending and investment.
But the report showed resilient demand, with rising orders for vehicles, computers, and electrical equipment and appliances, which posted a 1.0% increase, according to the report.
Oren Klachkin of Oxford Economics noted that some softening of activity could "lead to a better balance between supply and demand and reduce stress in supply chains."
"Right now manufacturing carries enough momentum to withstand stress from downward pressures," but he cautioned, "the confluence of highly elevated inflation, higher interest rates, weakening demand and downbeat sentiment will cause durable goods activity to struggle next year."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2022