Durable Goods Production Contracts at Fastest Rate Ever

The durable goods production index fell to 79.9, contracting 26.4% month-over-month. That was the fastest rate of month-over-month contraction in the index since its inception.

In April, the index for production of durable goods was 79.9, which was the lowest level for the index since July 2009. Compared with one year ago, the index contracted 26.4%, which was the fastest rate of month-over-month contraction in the history of the index.

The annual rate of change, which is easier to correlate with other data points, contracted 3.0% this month. This was the second consecutive month of accelerating contraction. The key leading indicator of production—durable goods new orders—is indicating further contraction in production. And, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause significant contraction in industrial production in May as well.


We track industrial production and its leading indicators for a number of industries.

Accelerating Growth: 

Decelerating Growth: construction materials, electronics/computers, medical, military

Accelerating Contraction: aerospace, automotive, custom processors, durable goods, food/beverage processing, forming/fabricating (non-auto), furniture, hardware, HVAC, industrial motors/hydraulics/mechanical components, machinery/equipment, metalcutting job shops, oil/gas-field/mining machinery, off-road/construction machinery, petrochemical processors, plastic/rubber products, power generation, primary metals, printing, pumps/valves/plumbing products, ship/boat building, textiles/clothing/leather goods, wood/paper products

Decelerating Contraction: appliances


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.