Low aircraft sales see US durable goods dip in January
Employees check out the wheel well of the first Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft as it sits on the tarmac outside of the Boeing factory on Feb 5, 2018 in Renton, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP)
WASHINGTON: Sales of big-ticket US-manufactured goods started the year on a sour note, marking their biggest drop in seven months on tumbling orders for aircraft, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday (Feb 27).Excluding volatile sales of defense and civilian aircraft, however, January sales were still lower than December, with orders for metals, machinery and capital goods all retreating - marking the first decrease in six months.Total orders for durable goods, which factor into calculations of GDP growth, fell 3.7 per cent in January to US$239.7 billion, falling after two consecutive monthly increases.The result significantly undershot analyst expectations, which had called for a monthly dip of only two per cent.Weak sales for the manufacturing sector could weigh on economic momentum in the first quarter of 2018.President Donald Trump is counting on a recent stimulus package to push the world's largest economy towards three percent annual growth, which economists say may be unrealistic.
Civilian aircraft sales fell 28.4 per cent while military aircraft sales fell further, giving up 45.6 per cent.The all-important auto sector, however, eked out a token 0.1 per cent gain for the month after struggling through much of 2017.Discounting the transportation sector, which sees big swings from month to month, sales fell 0.3 per cent. Sales of primary metals and machinery had their largest decreases in more than a year.Communications equipment was a bright spot, however, recording a 6.6 per cent jump, the largest increase in four months.
Capital goods orders excluding aircraft, which can track the price of crude and investment in oil and gas sector, fell 0.2 per cent for the month after falling 0.6 per cent in December.
Source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/low-aircraft-sales-see-us-durable-goods-dip-in-january-9996950