2018 Economic Calendar
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Durable Goods Orders  
Released On 4/26/2018 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Orders - M/M change3.1 %3.5 %1.7 %0.1 % to 4.0 %2.6 %
New Orders - Yr/Yr Change8.9 %
Ex-transportation - M/M1.2 %0.9 %0.5 %0.2 % to 1.0 %0.0 %
Ex-transportation - Yr/Yr8.1 %
Core capital goods - M/M change1.8 %0.9 %0.6 %0.2 % to 1.0 %-0.1 %
Core capital goods - Yr/Yr8.0 %

Aircraft often skews the durable goods report and March is a fine example. New orders for civilian aircraft have been very strong and were once again so in March, at a monthly 44.5 percent gain on top of February's 39.1 percent surge. These gains are what's behind the strong overall headlines of the past two reports, at 2.6 percent in March and an upwardly revised 3.5 percent in February.

Excluding transportation equipment, however, durable goods orders came in unchanged which is sizably below Econoday's consensus for a 0.5 percent gain. Note that vehicle orders, which like aircraft are part of the transportation group, were flat and not a factor in the month.

What is a key factor in the month is weakness in machinery which is at the heart of the capital goods sector and where new orders fell 1.7 percent. Orders for computers were also down while orders for electrical equipment were flat. These are all inputs into the core capital goods group where orders slipped 0.1 percent, again well under expectations for a 0.6 percent rise. Shipments for this reading, which are an input into GDP business investment, fell 0.1 percent with shipments in the prior month revised down 5 tenths to a 0.9 percent gain. These latter results will lower estimates a bit for tomorrow's GDP report.

Tariffs on steel and aluminum, which took effect late in the reporting month, didn't affect March's data. New orders for primary metals were strong, at 1.3 percent, but under February's unusual jump of 4.3 percent. Inventories of primary metals show no special sign of stockpiling, rising 0.5 percent following builds of 0.4 and 0.6 percent in the prior two months.

There's weakness below the headline in this report but the pace for the factory sector is still solid. Year-on-year order rates are still in the mid-to-high single digits for a sector that looks to contribute strongly to the 2018 economy.

Consensus Outlook
Giveback is not the expectation for durable goods orders which are expected to rise 1.7 percent in March following significant and broad-based strength in February. The consensus for ex-transportation orders is a 0.5 percent increase with core capital goods expected to rise 0.6 percent.

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
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

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/262/273/234/265/256/277/268/249/2710/2511/2112/21
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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