US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

22nd Nov 2023

Durable Goods Orders

Key takeaway: Durable Goods Orders fell sharply in October on the back of a slump in transportation orders. Headline durable goods orders decreased a sizeable 5.4%. Transportation orders declined 14.8% to US$92bn on a SA basis. Core durable goods orders which strips the volatile transport component remained flat at approx. US$187bn. Lastly capital goods orders ex defence ex transportation also declined a modest 0.1% in October. However, similar to past months, the key takeaway remains the revisions of the initial data releases. Core durable goods orders have been revised downwards most of the months in 2023. Even the September number was revised downwards from 0.6% to 0.2%. Capital goods orders have also been revised downwards through most of 2023. On the balance though, durable goods orders and business spending on capex still remains fairly resilient and are still not indicative of a major slowdown in the economy

26th Oct 2023

Key takeaway: Durable Goods Orders jumped sharply in September on the back of strong growth in transportation orders. Headline durable goods orders increased a sizeable 4.7%. Transportation orders increased 12.7% to US$109bn on a SA basis. Similarly, core durable goods orders which strips the volatile transport component also increased a healthy 0.5% to US$188bn. Lastly capital goods orders ex defence ex transportation also increased a substantial 0.6% in September. Even the August number was revised upwards from 0.9% to 1.1%. On the balance, durable goods orders and business spending on capex still remains fairly resilient and are still not indicative of a major slowdown in the economy

27th Sep 2023

Key takeaway: With rates once again on the rise, all eyes are now turned to watching signs of accelerating softness in the economy. However, the latest release of Durable Goods Orders and Shipments once again was better than the market expected. Firstly, headline manufactured durable goods orders increased 0.2% against a consensus expectations of a drop of 0.5%. Even after stripping the volatile transport component, core durable goods orders increased 0.4% against consensus expectations of 0.1%. Lastly, capital goods orders ex defence ex transportation also increased a substantial 0.9%. The better than expected durable goods orders print likely adds to an already robust 3rd quarter GDP. However, similar to the past months, it is key to note that July data was also revised downwards. Core capital goods orders have been revised downwards for the past consecutive 6 months. Nonetheless, on an overall basis, business spending still seems relatively strong and far from recessionary levels. However, as consumption slows into the next few quarters, it is more likely than not that we will see a slowdown in business spending. 

24th Aug 2023

Key takeaway: The latest release of Durable Goods Orders and Shipments was an interesting one. Firstly, headline durable goods new orders fell a substantial 5.2% m-o-m. But, as is usually the case, the drop was led by the volatile transportation sector. While there isn’t a 100% correlation between Boeing data and government figures, data released by Boeing for July orders had also registered a substantial fall from the previous month. This drop also needs to be viewed in the context of the substantial positive prints of the last few months. Durable goods orders have been quite resilient and it also ties in with the large contribution from non-residential domestic investment we have evidenced in the latest 2Q GDP release. Core durable goods orders, which strip the volatile transportation component, increased 0.5% m-o-m to US$186bn. Core durable goods orders have registered substantial positive prints throughout 2023. However data on core capital goods orders suggests a slightly different story. While core capital goods (which are manufacturers new orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft and an important gauge of business spending) increased 0.1% m-o-m in July, prints on this data point have been revised downwards for the past consecutive 5 months. Nonetheless, on an overall basis, business spending still seems relatively strong and far from recessionary levels. However, as consumption slows into the next few quarters, it is more likely than not that we will see a slowdown in business spending. 

27th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: It was a day when almost every single economic data point surprised to the upside. The US 1Q advance estimate was released on the same day and it surprised massively to the upside. 1Q GDP was expected to grow at 1.8%. Instead the economy grew at 2.4%. A large part of the growth in GDP was attributable to Non-residential fixed investment. In similar fashion, Durable Goods Orders once again surprised substantially to the upside. Lets look at the details. Firstly, headline Durable goods, which includes the volatile transportation segment, increased a substantial 4.7% m-o-m in Jun. This makes 4 months in a row of substantial m-o-m increases in durable goods orders. Even the May number was revised up from 1.7% to 2.0%. Interestingly, even after adjusting for the transportation segment, core durable goods orders increased 0.6% m-o-m when consensus expectations said no change at 0.0%. Lastly, core capital goods (which are manufacturers new orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft and an important gauge of business spending) also grew a positive 0.2% in Jun (when consensus expectations were a negative 0.1%). 

27th Jun 2023

Key takeaway: Durable Goods Orders once again surprised substantially to the upside. Lets look at the details. Firstly, headline Durable goods, which includes the volatile transportation segment, increased 1.7% m-o-m in May. This makes 3 months in a row of substantial m-o-m increases in durable goods orders. Boeing had reported 69 aircraft orders in May – about twice as many as the previous month. However, even after adjusting for the transportation segment, core durable goods orders increased 0.6% m-o-m when consensus expectations were for a decrease of 0.1%. Lastly, core capital goods (which are manufacturers new orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft and an important gauge of business spending) also grew a substantial 0.7% in May. 

26th May 2023

Key takeaway: In line with some of the strong economic data seen in the past few weeks (upward GDP revisions, strong PMI data), the key economic data point of Durable Goods Orders also came in significantly higher and surprised to the upside. Durable Goods Orders had recorded a strong 3.2% in March and came in positive 1.1% in April. While the increase is relatively lower compared to March, it is a strong increase nonetheless. Similar to previous months though, the increase was mostly driven by the transportation segment (up 3.7% to $97.6bn). Core durable goods, which strips out the volatile transportation segment, decreased 0.2% and continued a relatively weak trend of the past year. Yet, the key point to note is overall durable goods data while significantly lower than 2021/22 levels, is still far from past recessionary levels. Finally, core capital goods (which are manufacturers new orders for non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft and an important gauge of business spending) also grew a substantial 1.4% in April to $74bn. This is one of the largest increases recorded over the past few months. While one month does not make a trend, market participants will be keen to watch if core capital goods orders and shipments turns stronger from here on.

26th Apr 2023

Key takeaway: After 2 months of consecutive declines, Durable Goods New Orders were up 3.2% in March. In contrast the Feb number was revised further down from minus 1.0% to minus 1.2%. Once again similar to December the increase in headline was led by the more volatile transportation sector. Excluding transportation, core new orders were up 0.3% – not a significant number – but a positive number nonetheless. Once again, the key point to understand about this macro data point is that the Durable Goods space has undoubtedly become softer compared to 2021 and early 2022. Yet these numbers are far from recessionary levels. Lastly, Non Defence Capital Goods excluding Transportation, which is the most important data point that investors look for was minus 0.4% in March. This new orders and shipments number is more reflective of the GDP calculations for Business Investment for the quarter and hence is tracked closely. The February read was also revised lower from an increase of 0.2% to a decrease of 0.7%. It will be key to watch if these new orders sustain further in 2023. The trend for the past 6-9 months has been unmistakably down.

24th Mar 2023

Key takeaway: Headline durable goods orders fell 1% m-o-m in February. Core durable goods orders which strips transport were flat 0.0% m-o-m. Undoubtedly these are soft numbers and with the exception of December durable goods orders have generally been softening. However, the change in orders is far from the typical trough seen in past recessions. Usually the most important data point that investors look for in this advance report is Non Defence Capital Goods excluding Transportation. This new orders and shipments number is more reflective of the GDP calculations for Business Investment for the quarter and hence is tracked closely. In February, this number increased 0.2% m-o-m compared to an increase of 0.3% in January. The January number was also revised down from an initial +0.8% in the advance report to +0.3% in the final report. It will be key to watch if these new orders sustain further in 2023. The trend for the past 6-9 months has been unmistakably down.

27th Feb 2023

Key takeaway: Like every other economic indicator for January, durable goods orders also surprised to the upside. Headline durable goods orders were down 4.6% m-o-m. However, the headline number includes the more volatile transportation component. For instance – headline durable goods orders had increased a large 5.1% in December. That was significantly attributable to transportation (Boeing had reported 55 orders in January compared to 250 in December). Core durable goods increased 0.7% m-o-m compared to a forecast of 0.1% and last month’s reported figure of minus 0.4%. However, usually the most important data point that investors look for in this advance report is the Non Defence Capital Goods excluding Transportation number. This new orders and shipments number is more reflective of the GDP calculations for Business Investment for the quarter and hence is tracked closely. In January, this number increased 0.8% m-o-m compared to a decline of 0.3% in December. It will be key to watch if these new orders sustain further in 2023. The trend for the past 6-9 months has been unmistakably down.

Durable Goods Orders reflect new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for delivery of long lasting manufactured goods. The change in the total value of new orders is measured and release on the US Census Bureau’s website. New orders data is release twice a month. The first report is an advance report typically released at the end of the next month. It is followed up with the final data on new orders release in the Manufacturers shipments, inventories and orders report release in the first week of the subsequent month. The Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) survey provides broad-based, monthly statistical data on economic conditions in the domestic manufacturing sector. The survey measures current industrial activity and provides an indication of future business trends.

Durable Goods Orders