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Durable Goods Orders  
Released On 6/24/2009 8:30:00 AM For May, 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Orders - M/M change1.9 %-0.5 %-2.0 % to 1.0 %1.8 %
New Orders - Yr/Yr Change-23.3 %
Ex-transportation - M/M0.8 %1.1 %
Ex-transportation - Yr/Yr-22.4 %

New factory orders for durables in May came in unexpectedly strong – even after discounting transportation. Durable goods orders increased 1.8 percent in May, following a rebound also of 1.8 percent drop in April. The boost in April initially had been estimated to be 1.7 percent. The May gain came in well above the market forecast for a 0.5 percent decline. Excluding the transportation component, new durables orders posted a 1.1 percent boost after rising 0.4 percent the month before.

The rebound in new orders was widespread but was led by machinery, up 7.7 percent, and transportation, up 3.6 percent. Also making gains were primary metals, and computers & electronics. Declines were seen in fabricated metals, communication equipment, electrical equipment, and "other."

Another sign of optimism was that capital goods orders rebounded. Orders for nondefense capital goods jumped 10.0 percent in May after a 2.9 percent dip the month before. Even excluding aircraft, nondefense capital goods orders rose 4.8 percent after a 2.9 percent drop in April

Year-on-year, overall new orders for durable goods improved slightly to down 23.3 percent in May from down 24.5 percent the previous month. Excluding transportation, new durables orders rose to down 22.4 percent from down 23.6 percent in April.

The May report on durables orders showed broad-based strength for new orders. While the gain in new orders will take a little time to impact production, the latest numbers add to the argument that the recession's bottom is near. This still does not change the likely fact that the recovery will be sluggish. Nonetheless, equities should like today's numbers. Treasury yields firmed on the news.

Consensus Outlook
Durable goods orders rebounded a revised 1.7 percent in April, following a 2.2 percent drop in March. Excluding the transportation component, new durables orders gained a revised 0.4 percent after declining 2.8 percent the month before. The rebound in new orders was broad-based. Manufacturing surveys have been mixed on new orders. The ISM new orders index crossed into positive territory in May, rising to 51.1 from 47.2 the month before. New orders indexes for the Philly Fed and New York Fed have been improving but remained just below break even in May and June.

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

2009 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/292/263/254/245/286/247/298/269/2510/2811/2512/24
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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