Strong Growth in Durable Goods Spending Continues

Consumer durable goods spending has grown since July 2017, but the rising 10-year Treasury rate could be signaling slowing growth in ahead.

In August, the month-over-month rate of growth for durable goods spending was 6.4 percent, which was the fastest rate of growth since May and noticeably above the historical average. 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 $1,673 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate). 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: clothing/footwear, durable goods, electronics, food/beverage, motor vehicles/parts, other non-durable goods, total consumer

Decelerating Growth: air transportation services, appliances, medical care, pleasure boats 

Reports

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World Machine Tool Survey

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Capital Spending Survey

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Gardner Business Index

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