Aircraft orders lift US durable goods in November
While auto sales have been having a difficult year, they posted a solid gain in November, but outside the transportation sector US sales of big-ticket items fell last month, surprising analysts who had expected an increase. (AFP/SPENCER PLATT)
WASHINGTON: A bump in orders for civilian and defence aircraft sent US durable goods orders higher in November while auto sales also posted strong gains, according to government data published on Friday (Dec 22).But outside the volatile transportation sector, sales of big-ticket US-manufactured items retreated for the month, with machinery and communications equipment suffering notably - breaking a four-month streak of gains.Total orders for durable goods rose just 1.3 per cent for the month, according to the Commerce Department, significantly below the 2.1 per cent gain that analysts had been expecting.The undershoot could weigh on expectations for GDP growth in the fourth quarter. Year-to-date, orders are 5.4 per cent higher than the same period of 2016.Sales of civilian aircraft jumped 14.5 per cent for the month to US$12.5 billion, offsetting some of the 15.8 per cent decline in the prior month. Defense aircraft rebounded 11.9 per cent, after October's 7.3 per cent dip.Cars, trucks and auto parts, which have had a difficult 2017, saw sales increase for the second straight month, rising 1.4 per cent.
However, excluding the volatile transport sector, durables orders fell 0.1 per cent, far worse than a consensus forecast, which expected to see a 0.4 per cent gain.Sales of communications equipment dived 3.3 per cent while machinery fell 1.1 per cent, the lowest level since May of last year.Sales of non-defence capital goods, excluding aircraft, a sector tied closely to the oil exploration and drilling sector, fell 0.1 per cent for the month
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