Economy

Durable Goods Report Shines Despite Pandemic Woes

The U.S. economy took a hit in the first quarter, as seen in the most recent GDP report. Many businesses have limited their capacity or even ceased operations altogether as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While jobs and the economy at large

are tremendous concerns for many right now, durable goods was a bright spot in all of this darkness.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its May advance report on durable good manufacturers’ shipments, inventories and orders on Thursday morning.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in May increased $26.6 billion, or 15.8%, to $194.4 billion. This increase follows two consecutive monthly decreases, including by 18.1% in April. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 4.0%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 15.5%. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $20.9 billion, or 80.7%, to $46.9 billion.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods increased for the first time in two months. They increased $8.4 billion, or 4.4%, to $198.5 billion. This followed an 18.6% April decrease. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $5.0 billion or 12.1% to $46.5 billion.

Nondefense new orders for capital goods in May increased $13.4 billion, or 27.1%, to $62.8 billion. On the other hand, defense new orders for capital goods in May increased $2.2 billion, or 19.9%, to $13.3 billion.

Looking back at April, the revised seasonally adjusted figures for all manufacturing industries were as follows:

  • New orders: $382.5 billion (from $384.3 billion)
  • Shipments: $404.8 billion (from $406.8 billion)
  • Unfilled orders: $1,107.8 billion (from $1,107.6 billion)
  • Total inventories: $685.8 billion (from $686.5 billion)