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Durable Goods Orders Fall on Transportation

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

New orders for durable goods slid in September on declines in orders for transportation equipment, the U.S. Commerce Department said today.

Orders declined 0.4 percent to $261.3 billion, according to a monthly report. The fall came after four monthly gains, including an adjusted 1.3 percent increase in August.

Excluding transportation, orders rose 0.4 percent. Excluding defense, orders slipped 2 percent.

Transportation equipment drove the overall decline. The category has been down two of the past three months.

The total transportation category declined 2.3 percent to $77.7 billion, Within transportation, motor vehicles and parts had a 2.9 percent slide to almost $50 billion.

The auto industry has been coping for much of this year with a shortage of semiconductors. That has held down production and crimped the availability of vehicles. Some factories have been shut down temporarily.

Another part of transportation, commercial aircraft, posted a 28 percent decline to $10.8 billion. The defense aircraft and parts category was a bright spot with orders totaling $6.1 billion, more than doubling from the month before.

In other categories, orders for machinery gained 1.1 percent to $38.6 billion, fabricated metal parts orders rose 0.7 percent to $36.8 billion, and primary metals increased 0.6 percent to $24.1 billion.

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

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