Headline Durable Goods New Orders Improved In November 2018 But The Rolling Averages Declined

The headlines say the durable goods new orders improved. Our analysis shows the rolling averages significantly declined.

Analyst Opinion of the Durable Goods Situation

In the adjusted data, the strengths were widespread. This series has wide swings monthly so our primary metric is the unadjusted three month rolling average - which signifantly declined but is still growing faster than GDP. The rate of growth of the rolling averages is on the lower end of values seen over the last year.

Econintersect Analysis:

  • unadjusted new orders growth accelerated 1.5 % (after accelerating 1.5 % the previous month) month-over-month and is up 4.9 % year-over-year.
  • the three month rolling average for unadjusted new orders decelerated 2.9 % month-over-month, and up 6.4 % year-over-year.

Year-over-Year Change of 3 Month Rolling Average - Unadjusted (blue line) and Inflation Adjusted (red line)



  • Inflation-adjusted but otherwise unadjusted new orders are up 3.2 % year-over-year.
  • Backlog (unfilled orders) decelerated 0.3 % month-over-month, and is up 4.5 % year-over-year.
  • The Federal Reserve's Durable Goods Industrial Production Index (seasonally adjusted) growth up 0.2 % month-over-month, up 3.7 % year-over-year [note that this is a series with moderate backward revision - and it uses production as a pulse point (not new orders or shipments)] - three-month trend is decelerating.

Comparing Seasonally Adjusted Durable Goods Shipments (blue line) to Industrial Production Durable Goods (red line)


  • note this is labeled as an advance report - however, backward revisions historically are relatively slight.

Census Headlines:

  • new orders up 0.8 % month-over-month.
  • backlog (unfilled orders) down 0.1 % month-over-month.
  • the market expected (from Econoday):
  Consensus Range Consensus Actual
New Orders - M/M change -0.2 % to 3.0 % +1.5 % +0.8%
Ex-transportation - M/M 0.2 % to 0.7 % +0.3 % -0.3 %
Core capital goods - M/M change 0.1 % to 1.0 % +0.3 % -0.6 %
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