New orders for manufactured durable goods in August decreased $0.2 billion or 0.1 percent to $201.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease, down two of the last three months, followed a 4.1 percent July increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.1 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.1 percent.
Primary metals, down following five consecutive monthly increases, had the largest decrease, $0.2 billion or 0.8 percent to $24.2 billion.
That's an interesting shift. Remember, the thesis of most on "the street" is that we will not have a "second recession." (My view, on the other side, is that we've never left the first downturn, instead choosing to cover it up with government deficit spending - a temporary fix that must eventually end.)
The contrary view in the report is here:
Nondefense new orders for capital goods in August increased $3.9 billion or 5.2 percent to $78.1 billion. Shipments increased $1.9 billion or 2.7 percent to $71.3 billion. Unfilled orders increased $6.7 billion or 1.3 percent to $516.9 billion. Inventories increased $1.9 billion or 1.1 percent to $166.8 billion.
So on the top page we have a Rorschach test - you'll see whatever you want to look for. I don't find it particularly enlightening, and will instead defer to my favorite internal indicator.
And here we have another inkblot! The pull-through on shipments in both sub-categories exceeded the combined new order flow and in the case of comms the numbers were negative in both previous months.
You can either call that channel-stuffing or "much hope", but this much you can't do: It was not pure previous order conversion to shipments.
So I'll give it the "mixed bag" moniker, and defer judgment until I have more information. The one thing you can take from this report is that despite the market blowing up in early August, durables did not.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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