Durable Goods Spending Poised to Grow Slower

If consumer durable goods spending grows slower, then this will  affect manufacturing and capital equipment consumption in 2019.

(Neutral) Real consumer durable goods spending in March 2018 was $1,766 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate). Both January and February were revised noticeably lower because of motor vehicle and parts spending. Compared with one year ago, durable goods spending increased 6.4 percent, which was the second slowest rate of growth since August 2017 (only February’s growth was slower). However, month-over-month growth in consumer durable goods spending has been at or above the historic average since September 2016. Annually, durable goods spending grew at 6.6 after spending the previous four months at 6.7 percent.

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

Accelerating Growth: clothing/footwear

Decelerating Growth: air transportation services, appliances, durable goods, electronics, food/beverage, medical care, motor vehicles/parts, other non-durable goods, pleasure boats, total consumer 


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.