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Durable Goods Orders Rise in November on Transportation

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

New orders for durable goods increased in November, paced by transportation equipment, the Commerce Department said.

Orders rose 2.5 percent to $268.3 billion, according to a report on Dec. 23. Transportation led the way with a 6.5 percent monthly gain to $82.1 billion. Durable goods orders have risen six of the past seven months.

Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 0.8 percent. Excluding defense, the gain was 2 percent.

The increase for transportation followed two monthly declines. Within transportation, orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 1 percent to $53.8 billion. Orders for commercial aircraft and parts soared 34 percent to $13.3 billion. Orders for defense aircraft and parts gained 3 percent to $5.1 billion.

The transportation category often has a major impact on the overall durable goods figures. The auto industry continues to see strong demand for pickups and SUVs. However, a global shortage of semiconductors has disrupted production. The commercial aircraft industry is recovering from COVID-19, which reduced demand for air travel in 2020.

Among other categories, orders for fabricated metal products gained 0.6 percent to $36.7 billion. Orders for primary metals rose 0.3 percent to $24.5 billion. Orders for machinery slid 1 percent to $38.2 billion.

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

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