Durable Goods Spending Remains Strong

Growth in durable goods spending was above average for the 12 of the last 13 months.

In September, the month-over-month rate of growth for durable goods spending was 6.4 percent, which was the second month in a row and the 12th in the last 13 months with above average growth. The annual rate rate of growth was 6.8 percent, hovering between 6.6 and 6.9 percent since July 2017. This was significantly above the historical average growth rate of 5.4 percent

Real consumer durable goods spending in August 2018 was $1,716 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate), which was an all-time high. Also, durable goods spending accounted for 13.2 percent of all consumer spending, which was also an all-time high.

Low interest rates have helped boost durable goods spending as a percent of total consumer spending, but with the 10-year Treasury rate rising year over year, it may be that a deceleration in the rate of growth in durable goods consumer spending lies ahead.

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

Accelerating Growth: air transportation services, clothing/footwear, electronics, food/beverage, total consumer

Decelerating Growth: appliances, durable goods, medical care, motor vehicles/parts, other non-durable goods, pleasure boats 


Top Shops

‘Top Shops’ is a benchmarking and recognition program designed to help shops build their business.

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.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more.

Gardner Business Index

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