Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Durable Goods Orders Rise More Than Expected In March, Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:54:29 AM

Wednesday morning, the Department of Commerce released its advance report on durable goods orders in the month of March, showing that orders increased by much more than economists had been expecting.

The report showed that orders for durable goods rose 3.4 percent in March following an upwardly revised 2.4 percent increase in February. Economists had expected orders to rise 2.5 percent compared to the 1.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The increase in orders for durable goods, which are goods meant to last at least three years, was partly due to strong growth in orders for transportation equipment. Excluding orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by a more modest 1.5 percent.

The Commerce Department said orders for transportation equipment rose 8.0 percent in March after surging up 10.2 percent in February. A 37.6 percent increase in orders for commercial aircraft and parts helped to offset a 48.8 percent drop in orders for defense aircraft and parts.

Notable increases in orders for non-defense capital goods, communications equipment, and machinery also contributed to the overall increase in durable goods orders.

At the same time, the report showed that orders for defense capital goods showed a significant decline. Excluding defense, new orders for durable goods increased 4.5 percent.

The report also showed that shipments of durable goods rose 0.8 percent in March following a 1.4 percent decrease in February. Additionally, inventories of durable goods rose 0.3 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in the previous month.
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