The U.S. Census Bureau said new durable goods orders in the U.S. nearly doubled the 1.7% median economic forecast for the month of March. The revised data from February also showed a stronger than previously-reported month.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased $6.4 billion or 2.6% to $254.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up 4 of the last 5 months, followed a 3.5% February increase. Excluding transportation, new orders were virtually unchanged. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.8%. Transportation equipment, also up four of the last five months, drove the increase, $6.4 billion or 7.6% to $91.4 billion.
New orders for durable goods in February were revised up from $498.0 billion to $499.3 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in March have been up 10 of the last 11 months, and rose $0.7 billion or 0.3% to $250.0 billion in March. This followed a 0.7% gain in February. Transportation equipment, which have been up 4 of the last 5 months, drove the gain again, rising $1.5 billion or 1.8% to $83.4 billion.
Shipments in February were revised to $500.0 billion, down from $500.5 billion.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods have been up 6 of the last 7 months, increasing $9.3 billion or 0.8% to $1,154.0 billion in March. This followed a 0.3% gain in February. Transportation equipment, which has been up 3 of the last 4 months, led the increase rising $8.0 billion or 1.0% to $782.8 billion.
For February, unfilled orders were revised up to $1,144.7 billion from $1,142.8 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods have been up 20 of the last 21 months, and increased $0.3 billion or 0.1% to $411.0 billion in March. This follows a 0.4% gain in February and both Fabricated metal products and Machinery led the increase.
Fabricated metal products have been up for 15 consecutive months, and in March gained $0.3 billion or 0.6% to $52.0 billion. Machinery, which has been up 4 of the last 5 months, rose $0.3 billion or 0.4% to $70.8 billion
Total inventories were revised down slightly to $675.1 billion from $675.2 billion.
Non-defense new orders for capital goods in March rose $4.7 billion or 6.0% to $83.1 billion. Shipments increased $1.7 billion or 2.2% to $76.9 billion. Unfilled orders increased $6.3 billion or 0.9% to $716.1 billion. Inventories decreased $0.5 billion or 0.3% to $182.5 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in March increased $0.1 billion or 0.9% to $10.6 billion. Shipments decreased $0.3 billion or 2.7% to $10.6 billion. Unfilled orders increased less than $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $140.7 billion. Inventories also increased less than $0.1 billion or 0.2% to $23.3 billion