The U.S. Census Bureau* released its monthly advance report on manufacturers’ shipments, inventories and orders for February 2017 that says new orders for manufactured durable goods in February 2017 rose 1.7% to $235.4 billion. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%. Shipments rose 0.3%. Unfilled orders were virtually unchanged, and inventories rose 0.2%. Capital goods new orders increased 2.6% and shipments increased 0.6%.
Durable goods long life products – washing machines or arguably vehicles – that last a longtime. As such they are used as leading indicators of consumer confidence or considered a predictor for recessions.
Machinery is the industry that led the increase in durable goods shipments. Shipments increased 0.9% to $31.1 billion. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 1.1% January decrease, however. New orders of machinery in February increased 0.1% to $31.5 billion. This increase, up 11 of the last 12 months, followed a 1.0% January increase. Unfilled orders of machinery grew 0.4% to $93.7 billion. This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 0.6% January increase. Inventories of machinery rose 0.2% to $66.3 billion. This increase, up three of the last four months, followed a 0.1% January decrease.
See Advance Report on Durable Goods. Information on the survey methodology is also available.
*Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders. Statistical significance is not measurable for this survey. The Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders estimates are not based on a probability sample, so the sampling error of these estimates cannot be measured nor can the confidence intervals be computed. Data adjusted for seasonal variation but not for price changes.