2012 Economic Calendar
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Durable Goods Orders  
Released On 1/26/2012 8:30:00 AM For Dec, 2011
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Orders - M/M change3.8 %4.3 %2.2 %-1.7 % to 5.2 %3.0 %
New Orders - Yr/Yr Change12.1 %12.8 %17.0 %
Ex-transportation - M/M0.3 %0.5 %0.7 %0.2 % to 3.9 %2.1 %
Ex-transportation - Yr/Yr7.2 %7.5 %7.0 %

Manufacturing is picking up steam as December durables were strong and above expectations and November was revised up notably. New factory orders for durables in December jumped another 3.0 percent, following a 4.3 percent surge the month before (prior revised estimate, up 3.7 percent). The December increase topped market expectations for a 2.2 percent gain. Excluding transportation, durables rose a healthy 2.1 percent after a 0.5 percent advance in November (prior revised estimate, up 0.3 percent). The December gain came in much higher than the consensus forecast for a 0.7 percent increase.

By components, strength was widespread in December. Transportation grew 5.5 percent, following a 16.6 percent surge in November. Subcomponent strength was in nondefense aircraft although motor vehicles also gained.

Outside of transportation, orders were positive in most major subcomponents. Increases were seen in primary metals, up 5.1 percent; machinery, up a robust 6.0 percent; computers, electronics & communications equipment, up 1.2 percent; and "other" durables, up 0.2 percent. Declining were fabricated metals, down 1.4 percent, and electrical equipment, down 1.1 percent.

We also saw a 2.9 percent rebound in nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, following a 1.2 percent dip in November. Shipments for this series also improved, rising 2.9 percent in December, following a 1.0 percent decline the month before. The latest shipments number will have economists nudging up their forecasts for the business equipment component in fourth quarter GDP.

Today's report indicates the manufacturing is gaining strength and points to a recovery that actually may be gaining momentum despite Fed skepticism about the outlook. On the news, equity futures rose slightly. At the same time, jobless claims came in a little higher than expected but remained on a downtrend.

Consensus Outlook
Durable goods orders in November surged a revised 3.7 percent, following a 0.1 percent uptick the prior month. Excluding transportation, durables grew 0.3 percent after a 1.6 percent gain in October. Outside of transportation, new orders were led by primary metals and machinery with fabricated metals and "other" also gaining. Weakness was seen in computers & electronics and also electrical equipment. A disappointment was in civilian capital equipment excluding aircraft which dipped 1.2 percent after a 0.9 percent decline in October.

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

2012 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/262/283/284/255/246/277/268/249/2710/2511/2712/21
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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