Economy

Durable goods orders fall by the most in 18 months

Durable goods orders fall by the most in 18 months

New orders for big-ticket USA manufactured goods fell for the second month in a row in May, recording their biggest drop in six months, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

- Durable-goods inventories rose 0.2 percent; unfilled orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft advanced 0.2 percent.

Shipments in the same category, which are used to calculate GDP, also fell by 0.2 percent in May after inching up by 0.1 percent in the previous month. That was the worst since December.

Orders for durable goods - items meant to last at least three years - slid 1.1 per cent in May, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Yet orders for new autos rose 1.3% in May and increased for the second straight month. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.6%.

USA futures markets pointed to a higher opening for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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While transportation orders are larger in size than most durable goods orders, the variations in orders on airplanes can greatly skew this monthly reading.

US manufacturing production has slowed after a solid start to the year.

Now, the global economy has picked up, boosting worldwide trade flows. The dollar's value jumped after last year's presidential election but has moved lower this year. Recent data on retail sales, manufacturing production and inflation have been disappointing.

Capital expenditures have rebounded modestly, too. Transportation equipment, up following four consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $1.5 billion or 1.9% to $78.8 billion.

The Federal Reserve has expressed greater confidence in investment trends over the past few months with capital spending levels not seen as a barrier to monetary tightening so far, although the FOMC would prefer more robust data. "And exports have shown greater strength this year, in part reflecting a pickup in global growth".


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