Durable Goods for the month of January is not just a disappointment. This was a nearly shocking miss when you consider the trends of the prior months and the economic recovery we have been seeing. The January data showed a reading of -4.0% on the headline durable goods data. The Bloomberg consensus data showed an expectation for a drop of -0.7% (Dow Jones was -1.1%) and we were even hoping for a slightly better number than that. On an ex-transportation figure, the reading was still -3.2% in durable goods.
If you consider that the equity markets have been rising and that the U.S. has finally been decoupling itself further and further away from the woes of Europe, this number should not have been such a negative surprise.
Before hitting the panic button too hard, be sure to remember that durable goods on a month to month basis is perhaps one of the most volatile and least accurately predicted by economists. Still, -4.0% versus -0.7% (or -1.1%) expected is no good news.
JON C. OGG