New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods were unchanged in August from July of 2016, following a downwardly revised 3.6 percent gain in the previous period.
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Yet, non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircrafts, a proxy for business spending increased 0.6 percent, the third consecutive gain.
Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.4 percent and excluding defense, orders shrank 1.0 percent. Electrical equipment, appliances, and components, down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $0.2 billion or 2.5 percent to $9.6 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.8 billion or 0.4 percent to $231.7 billion.
This followed a virtually unchanged July increase. Transportation equipment, down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $0.9 billion or 1.1 percent to $79.9 billion.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods, down three consecutive months, decreased $1.5 billion or 0.1 percent to $1,123.4 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent July decrease.
Transportation equipment, also down three consecutive months, drove the decrease, $1.8 billion or 0.2 percent to $769.2 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods, up two consecutive months, increased $0.5 billion or 0.1 percent to $383.7 billion.
This followed a 0.4 percent July increase. Machinery, up two of the last three months, led the increase, $0.3 billion or 0.5 percent to $65.7 billion.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods decreased $3.1 billion or 4.4 percent to $66.9 billion.
Shipments decreased $1.4 billion or 1.9 percent to $70.1 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $3.1 billion or 0.4 percent to $696.3 billion. Inventories increased $0.3 billion or 0.2 percent to $169.7 billion.
Defense new orders for capital goods in August increased $2.3 billion or 23.6 percent to $11.9 billion.
Shipments decreased $0.2 billion or 2.3 percent to $10.3 billion. Unfilled orders increased $1.5 billion or 1.1 percent to $137.2 billion. Inventories decreased $0.4 billion or 2.0 percent to $20.7 billion. ■