US Durable Goods Orders Up SlightlyBy Naj Srinivas, 05/25/2012
US durable goods orders rose 0.2% m/m in April (6.9% y/y)—meeting expectations. In the month, underlying core capital goods orders bucked the modest gain and fell, paced by declines in orders for machinery, computers and communications equipment. However, core capital goods orders are volatile, and two months of negative order growth don’t necessarily make a trend or suggest imminent economic doom.
It should also be noted slowing order growth has been the case on a year-over-year basis since mid-2010, as easier comparison periods of 2008-2009 fell off. Likewise, it should be noted though order growth has slowed, other reports of economic activity continue to expand. For example, the Institute for Supply Management’s April Manufacturing PMI showed factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly 10 months—showing strength in new orders, production and hiring.
As always, no one indicator fully or perfectly captures the US economy’s overall health. Instead, look to a broader sample, which right now shows continued US economic strength.