Slippage in durable goods orders on commercial aircraft

Durable goods orders fell in August, punctuated by lower orders for commercial aircraft and parts.

Overall orders fell 0.2% to $272.7 billion, the Commerce Department said in a monthly report today. This is the second consecutive monthly decline.

Excluding transport, new orders increased by 0.2%. Excluding defence, orders fell 0.9%.

The overall transportation equipment category fell 1.1% to $92 billion. This is the second consecutive monthly decline for transportation.

Within this category, the main reason for the decline was orders for commercial aircraft and parts, which plunged 18.5% to $13.3 billion.

The other transportation components held up better.

Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 0.3% to $59.8 billion. Orders for aircraft and defense parts soared 31% to $6.9 billion.

Commercial aerospace typically faces labor shortages and supply chain issues. The auto industry continues to benefit from strong demand for pickup trucks and SUVs, but an ongoing shortage of computer chips has limited the supply of dealer lots.

Among other categories, orders for primary metals rose 0.4% to $20.8 billion. Machinery orders rose 0.3% to $38.8 billion. Orders for fabricated metal products fell 0.7% to $36.9 billion.

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

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