The report on durable goods each month is one of the most volatile of all economic reports. After all, the big-ticket items include consumer durable goods and capital spending efforts. Durable goods for the month of July was a total and complete bomb on the headline report at -7.3%. Bloomberg was calling for -4%, and this was slightly worse than the lowest estimate of -7.2%.
We would advise that the headline may be worse than the overall report might indicate. Durable goods ex-transportation came in at -0.6%. That is still under the 0.3% gain expected by Bloomberg, but it is at least not as far off the mark and nowhere as deep in the red. The seasonally adjusted figure on the headline report came to $226.6 billion in July, according to the Commerce Department.
Monday’s report signals a dismal end to a trend. Durable goods orders were up by 3.9% in June, after having been up by 5.5% back in May. Those two months had huge gains in transportation orders, and manufacturing reports had been mixed. Civilian aircraft orders were down by half in this current report.