Headline Durable Goods New Orders Marginally Slowed In July 2021


The durable goods sector is the portion of the economy that provides products that have a utility over long periods of time before needing repurchases - like cars, refrigerators, and planes.

Econintersect concentrates on new orders as it is the entry point for future production - and somewhat intuitive economically.

Indexed and Unadjusted Durable Goods New Orders - Orders (blue line) and Orders Minus Transports (red line)

For unfilled orders (graph below), the growth trend (red line in the graph below) is beginning to improve.

Unadjusted Durable Goods Unfilled Orders - Current Value (blue line, left axis) and Year-over-Year Change (red line, right axis)

To visualize the drivers of durable goods - the chart below shows transport (mostly aircraft is the volatile element in durable goods.

Unadjusted Durable Goods New Orders Year-over-Year Growth - Consumer Goods less transport (red line), All Durable Goods (blue line), and Transport (green line)

FRED Graph

One final look at the Durable Goods data in our search for a slowing economy is for inventory buildup. Although this series is noisy, it appears inventory levels are currently marginally elevated.

Unadjusted Inventory to Sales Ratio

Caveat on the Use of Durable Goods

The data when first released is subject to several months of revision. The revisions currently have been minor - making the initial headline data reasonably accurate in real-time.

The data in this series is not inflation-adjusted - and Econintersect adjusts using the appropriate BLS Producer Price Index for durable goods or uses Industrial Production (IP) - durable goods sub-index which is a non-monetary index.

As in most US Census reports, Econintersect does not agree with the seasonal adjustment methodology used and provides an alternate analysis. The issue is that the exceptionally large recession and the subsequent economic roller coaster has caused data distortions that become exaggerated when the seasonal adjustment methodology uses several years of data. Further, Econintersect believes there is a New Normal seasonality and using data prior to the end of the recession for seasonal analysis could provide the wrong conclusion.

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Disclaimer: No content is to be construed as investment advise and all content is provided for informational purposes only.The reader is solely responsible for determining whether any investment, ...

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