Consumer Durable Goods Spending Remained Strong in Nov. '17

Compared with one year ago, durable goods spending increased 7.1 percent, which was the second fastest rate of growth since December 2016.

(Positive) Real consumer durable goods spending in November 2017 was $1,753 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate), which was an all-time high. Compared with one year ago, durable goods spending increased 7.1 percent, which was the second fastest rate of growth since December 2016 and noticeably above the historic average for the third month in a row.

This month durable goods spending grew faster than total consumer spending. Therefore, durable goods spending in November made up 14.6 percent of all consumer spending. That’s its highest percent ever.

The annual rate of growth of 6.6 percent accelerated just 0.1 percent from October. The rate of growth was between 6.4 and 6.6 percent for the seventh straight month. While real disposable income continued to grow at a much slower rate, the real ten-year treasury rate remained at a reasonably low level. The low interest rates were keeping durable goods spending high. 

Below are key spending categories that lead the most important manufacturing new orders and production indices.

Accelerating Growth: durable goods, clothing/footwear, other non-durable goods, pleasure boats 

Decelerating Growth: air transportation services, appliances, electronics, food/beverage, medical care, motor vehicles/parts, total consumer

Reports

World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Gardner Business Index

A diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more that are then projected across the metalworking industry based on plant size.