New Orders for Durable Goods Drop 4.3%

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

New orders for durable goods fell 4.3% to $229.3 billion for December, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today. The weakness was led by a big 17.5% drop in the volatile category of commercial aircraft. 

After increasing a revised 2.6% for November, this latest report comes as an unpleasant surprise. Overall, analysts had predicted a 1.6% increase in new orders for December. Durable goods are items meant to last at least three years, and investors keep a close watch on new orders to gauge businesses' longer-term confidence in the economy. Some of the December weakness probably reflected a temporary dip following November's jump, which had been driven by businesses rushing to take advantage of expiring tax breaks.


Excluding volatile transportation orders (which include aircraft), December's numbers don't look much better. Analyst expectations called for a 0.7% rise, but actual new orders tapered off into the red with a 1.6% dip. 

Orders for primary metals such as steel fell 2.1% while demand for computers and other electronic products dropped 7.8%. Orders for machinery rose 0.8%.

Despite the new orders decrease, unfilled orders continued to advance with a 0.4% increase, while inventories expanded 0.8% to $387.8 billion, the highest level since data were first recorded in 1992. After increasing 1.3% in November, shipments fell 1.9%.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


The article New Orders for Durable Goods Drop 4.3% originally appeared on

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading