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Durable Goods Orders Fall in July

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

New orders for durable goods slipped in July, paced by a decline in transportation equipment.

Orders fell 0.1 percent to $257.2 billion in July, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Commerce Department. The results snapped a streak of two monthly gains.

Transportation equipment slid 2.2 percent to $75.3 billion in July. The sector also had posted monthly increases the two previous months.

Within transportation, commercial aircraft orders plunged 49 percent to $7.37 billion. Defense aircraft orders increased 5.1 percent to $3.77 billion. Orders for motorized vehicle and parts rose 5.8 percent to $53.8 billion.

The July results represented a setback for commercial aircraft, where orders had been improving. Aerospace is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which had depressed demand for air travel. Boeing Co., the Chicago-based aircraft maker, returned to profitability in the second quarter.

The auto industry is coping with a global shortage of semiconductors. That has held down production, with some temporary plant shutdowns occurring.

Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 0.7 percent. Excluding defense, orders dipped 1.2 percent.

In other categories, orders for machinery rose 2.9 percent to $38.4 billion. Orders for primary metals had a monthly gain of 2.7 percent to $24.7 billion. Orders for fabricated metal products increased 0.3 percent to $35.5 billion.

The report is based on a survey of about 3,100 companies.

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