Strong Growth in Durable Goods New Orders Positive Sign for Manufacturing in 2018

For the third month in a row, durable goods new orders growth was at least 8.5 percent.

(Positive) Real durable goods new orders in January 2018 were $220,444 million. This was the best January since 2008. And, it was the fastest rate of growth for January since 2011. Therefore, 2018 was off to a very good start.

Compared with one year ago, durable goods new orders grew 8.5 percent, which was the eighth straight month of growth and the 12th in the last 13. This was the third consecutive month with growth faster than 8.5 percent. The annual rate of growth was 5.5 percent, accelerating for the eighth month to its fastest rate since August 2012. 

Motor vehicle and parts orders increased just 7.0 percent compared with one year ago, growing for the fourth time in six months. This was the fastest rate of month-over-month growth since May 2017. Annually, order growth accelerated at its fastest rate since June 2016.

Aerospace orders increased 20 percent in January compared with one year ago, growing more than 19 percent for the fifth time in six months. Annually, the rate of growth accelerated to 19.1 percent, growing for the fourth time in five months. This was the fastest rate of annual growth since August 2014.

The trend in real durable goods new orders is very positive for capital equipment consumption in 2018.

Accelerating Growth: aerospace, computers/electronics, construction materials, durable goods, fabricated metal products, HVAC, machinery/equipment, motor vehicle/parts, oil/gas-field/mining machinery, off-road/construction machinery, power generation, primary metals, total capital goods

Decelerating Growth: 

Decelerating Contraction: appliances

Accelerating Contraction: ship/boat building


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.