US: Durable Goods Orders


Mon Jul 27 07:30:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous Revised
New Orders - M/M change 3.1% 0.6% to 6.4% 3.4% -1.8% -2.1%
Ex-transportation - M/M 0.5% 0.0% to 1.0% 0.8% 0.5% -0.1%
New Orders - Yr/Yr Change -2.8% -3.1% -3.1%
Ex-transportation - Yr/Yr -4.5% -2.4% -2.5%

Highlights
June was a strong month for durable goods orders which rose a slightly higher-than-expected 3.4 percent. Excluding transportation, which is where aircraft orders are tracked, new orders rose 0.8 percent which is near top-end expectations. Core capital goods orders, which also exclude aircraft, rose a very solid 0.9 percent. These readings are some of the highest of the last year and offer welcome evidence of a long awaited pop higher for what is, however, a still depressed factory sector.

Turning briefly to civilian aircraft, orders surged 103 percent after falling 46 percent in May. Swings in aircraft are common in this report and reflect monthly swings in Boeing orders. Other industries include a small gain for motor vehicles and for computers & electronics as well as large gains for machinery and fabricated metals. In a hint of strength for the construction sector, electrical equipment jumped an especially sharp 2.8 percent in the month.

Turning back to totals, shipments inched 0.1 percent higher with shipments of core capital goods edging 0.1 percent lower and including downward revisions to both May and April. The shipment readings for capital goods will not be lifting second-quarter GDP estimates for business investment. Unfilled orders ended two months of contraction with a 0.1 percent gain while inventories rose 0.4 percent, a modest build that keeps the stock-to-sales ratio unchanged at 1.68.

This is only the third monthly gain for durable goods orders going all the way back to July, which was before of course the drop in oil prices and rise in the value of the dollar, the former having torpedoed the energy sector and the second having flattened the nation's exports. Today's report will confirm for many expectations that the negative effects of the strong dollar on exports are beginning to ease.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Durables goods orders are expected to be dominated once again by monthly swings in Boeing orders which surged in June. But strength is seen outside of transportation as well with forecasters calling for a second straight 0.5 percent gain for this reading. The durables report has been very weak this year including flat readings for the closely watched capital goods group.

Definition
Durable goods orders reflect the new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for immediate and future delivery of factory hard goods. The first release, the advance, provides an early estimate of durable goods orders. About two weeks later, more complete and revised data are available in the factory orders report. The data for the previous month are usually revised a second time upon the release of the new month's data.

Durable goods orders are available nationally by both industry and market categories. A new order is accompanied by a legally binding agreement to purchase for immediate or future delivery. Advance durable goods orders no longer include data on semiconductors since semiconductor manufacturers stopped releasing this information to the Census Bureau.

The advance durable goods report also contains information on shipments, unfilled orders and inventories. Shipments represent deliveries made, valued at net selling price after discounts and allowances, excluding freight charges and excise taxes. Semiconductor data are available for shipments and inventories. Unfilled orders are those received but not yet delivered.

In 2001, the Census Bureau shifted from the standard industrial classification (SIC) system to the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). This caused some realignment of major industry classifications. Given the significant revisions incurred, the historical data now begin in 1992.




Description
Investors want to keep their finger on the pulse of the economy because it usually dictates how various types of investments will perform. Rising equity prices thrive on growing corporate profits - which in turn stem from healthy economic growth. Healthy economic growth is not necessarily a negative for the bond market, but bond investors are highly sensitive to inflationary pressures. When the economy is growing too quickly and cannot meet demand, it can pave the road for inflation. By tracking economic data such durable goods orders, investors will know what the economic backdrop is for these markets and their portfolios.

Orders for durable goods show how busy factories will be in the months to come, as manufacturers work to fill those orders. The data not only provide insight to demand for items such as refrigerators and cars, but also business investment such as industrial machinery, electrical machinery and computers. If companies commit to spending more on equipment and other capital, they are obviously experiencing sustainable growth in their business. Increased expenditures on investment goods set the stage for greater productive capacity in the country and reduce the prospects for inflation.

Durable goods orders tell investors what to expect from the manufacturing sector, a major component of the economy, and therefore a major influence on their investments.

Importance
Durable goods orders are a leading indicator of industrial production and capital spending.

Interpretation
The bond market will rally (fall) when durable goods orders are weak (strong). A moderately healthy report for new orders bodes well for corporate profits and the stock market, however. Durable goods orders are one of the most volatile economic indicators reported in the month and this series can be revised by significant amounts from one month to the next. More than any other indicator, it is imperative to follow either three-month moving averages of the monthly levels or year-over-year percent changes. These adjustments smooth out the monthly variability and provide a clearer picture of the trend in the manufacturing sector.

Whenever economic indicators are particularly volatile, it becomes customary to exclude the more variable components from the total. For instance, market players exclude defense orders and transportation orders from durable goods because these fluctuate more than the overall total. Incidentally, aircraft orders are the guilty culprit, which are included in both of these categories. Airplanes are ordered in quantity, not one at a time. Analysts exclude the categories containing aircraft orders because they obscure the underlying trend, not because the aircraft industry is unimportant.

Economists closely watch nondefense capital goods orders as a leading indicator of capital spending. Typically, traders follow the special series for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft because it shows the underlying trend for equipment investment after discounting sharp swings from aircraft orders.

Durable goods orders are measured in nominal dollars. Economic performance depends on real, rather than nominal growth rates. One can compare the trend growth rate in durable goods orders with that of the PPI for finished goods to assess the growth rate in real orders.