The Census Bureau reported that new orders for manufactured goods rose 1.8 percent in November, reversing the declines experienced the previous two months. Durable goods increased 3.7 percent, with nondurables up 0.3 percent.
As noted last month, part of this increase can be attributed to strong airline orders. Transportation equipment orders jumped 14.7 percent – largely on a steep jump in nondefense aerospace and parts – for the month. Excluding transportation figures, new orders for manufactured goods would have risen by 0.3 percent.
Other leading areas of strength for new orders were found among industrial machinery (up 11.7 percent), defense communications equipment (up 5.7 percent), electrical equipment (up 5.2 percent) and primary metals (up 4.6 percent). There were weaknesses, however, for construction machinery (down 8.1 percent), computers (down 6.7 percent) and electric lighting equipment (down 4.6 percent).
Shipments of manufactured goods in November were unchanged, with a 0.3 percent increase among durables being offset by a similar drop for nondurables. Unfilled orders rose 1.3 percent and inventories rose 0.5 percent.
Chad Moutray is chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers.