Durable Goods rock but only if you make planes

Jan Durable Goods rose twice expectations at the headline level, up by 3% but ex transports they fell by .6% vs an expected gain of 1%. However, ex transports was revised up by 1.1 % pts in Dec, so taken together, it was only a touch light. Leading the headline gain was a 126% rise in nondefense aircraft orders, partly offset by a 2.2% drop in vehicles/parts. The drag on the core was a 9.7% fall in machinery orders. Shipments, which get directly plugged into GDP, fell .2%. The core cap ex figure, non defense capital goods ex aircraft, fell by a disappointing 2.9% but does come after gains in Nov and Dec. Inventories were flat and the inventory to shipment ratio remained unch at 1.67, the lowest since Sept ’08. Bottom line, manufacturing has led the statistical recovery in the economy but today’s data shows how lumpy this process has been and with still a lack of firm end demand evident, lumpiness will likely continue.

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