Durable Goods Spending Rises 14.7% in October

In October, real consumer durable goods spending was $2,066.5 billion, which is an all-time high for the fifth consecutive month. The month-over-month rate of growth for durable goods spending was 14.7%, which was the fastest rate of month-over-month growth since February 2004. Also, it was the fifth straight month with faster than 11% growth, which was the first time that has happened since the summer of 1999 in the middle of the dot com bubble.

The annual rate of growth accelerated for the fifth straight month to 5.6%. The real 10-year Treasury rate, which is the nominal rate minus the rate of inflation, was -0.60%. This was the 10th consecutive month and 13th of the last 15 that the real rate was negative. However, the rate was grinding slowly higher since April.  So far, lower interest rates, combined with increased government transfer payments and the stock market near all-time highs, have been enough to significantly boost durable goods spending. In fact, durable goods spending is 15.8% of total consumer spending, which is its highest percentage of all consumer spending ever. The question is, will that continue when government transfer payments run out?

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

Accelerating Growth: durable goods, electronics, food/beverage, other non-durable goods, pleasure boats

Decelerating Growth: appliances

Accelerating Contraction: air transportation services, clothing/footwear, medical care, total consumer

Decelerating Contraction: motor vehicles/parts


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.