2017 Economic Calendar
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Durable Goods Orders  
Released On 3/24/2017 8:30:00 AM For Feb, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Orders - M/M change1.8 %2.3 %1.5 %0.1 % to 2.6 %1.7 %
New Orders - Yr/Yr Change-0.6 %-0.1 %5.0 %
Ex-transportation - M/M-0.2 %0.2 %0.8 %0.1 % to 2.3 %0.4 %
Ex-transportation - Yr/Yr2.4 %2.7 %4.6 %
Core capital goods - M/M change-0.4 %0.1 %0.5 %0.4 % to 0.8 %-0.1 %
Core capital goods - Yr/Yr0.5 %0.7 %2.7 %

Highlights
Aircraft has been giving a significant boost so far this year to durable goods orders which otherwise are soft. Durable goods orders jumped 1.7 percent in February to beat Econoday's consensus by 2 tenths. The data include an upward revision to January which now stands at a very strong 2.3 percent. But when excluding transportation equipment, which is where aircraft are tracked, durable orders slow to a 0.4 percent February gain which is well under the 0.8 percent consensus.

The weakest part of the report is perhaps the most important part, that is core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft) where orders slipped 0.1 percent in February vs expectations for a 0.5 percent jump and following January's revised 0.1 percent gain. This points to continued weakness in business investment and eventual trouble for GDP. Yet for the first quarter, core shipments in January and February, which are inputs into GDP, are a net positive, as a 1.0 percent February gain offsets a 0.3 percent January dip. Also unfilled orders for core capital goods are building, up 0.2 percent following gains of 0.5 and 0.4 percent in the two prior months.

Total unfilled orders for durables, however, are unchanged and follow a long string of declines. Inventory growth is modest at 0.2 percent with total shipments up 0.3 percent which keeps the inventory-to-shipments ratio unchanged at a stable 1.61.

Durables activity is improving but the strength has been tied largely to aircraft where sustained month-to-month gains are uncertain. And the strength also does not include new orders for capital goods. The major spikes for advance manufacturing readings have yet to translate to similar gains for government data.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Last week's industrial production report offered the first definitive confirmation of acceleration in the manufacturing sector - and durable goods orders are expected to further confirm the strength. The durable goods headline is seen jumping 1.5 percent on top of January's 1.8 percent gain. Excluding transportation equipment, orders are expected to post a sizable 0.8 percent February gain and more than reverse the prior month's 0.2 percent dip. Orders for core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft) are a central concern of this report and they have signaling weakness in business investment and trouble for first-quarter GDP. But forecasters see strength here also for February, at a consensus gain 0.5 percent vs January's 0.4 percent decline.

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. 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.
 Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Monthly fluctuations in durable goods orders are frequent and large and skew the underlying trend in the data. In fact, even the yearly change must be viewed carefully because of the volatility in this series.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/272/273/244/275/266/267/278/259/2710/2511/2212/22
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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