Durable Goods Orders Turn Around

    March 24, 2005

Durable goods orders in the United States increased 0.3% last month, after dropping the previous month.

The Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods (manufactured products meant to last at least 3 years) fell 0.2% when strong transportation orders were stripped out. The number was expected to go up.

According to USAToday,

“The increase in February pushed up the total value of new bookings for durable goods – manufactured products expected to last at least three years – to $200.8 billion. The rise in orders came after a 1.1% drop in January, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

While most of January’s decline reflected weakness in demand for commercial airplanes, most of February’s pickup came from a bounceback in orders for commercial aircraft and parts. Demand for other types of manufactured goods last month was somewhat sluggish.”

Separately, the number of workers in the U.S. seeking first-time unemployment benefits increased to 324,000 after being predicted to fall to 315,000

A Bloomberg article says:

“Initial applications for state unemployment benefits rose to 324,000 last week from 321,000, the Labor Department reported. The less-volatile four-week moving average was 321,750, down 5.4 percent from a year ago.

The median forecast of 73 economists Bloomberg News surveyed before the report called for orders to rise 0.9 percent after a previously reported decline of 1.3 percent for January. Orders excluding transportation were expected to rise 0.3 percent after a previously reported increase of 0.3 percent the previous month.”


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