New orders for durable goods flatlined for October, according to a Commerce Department report released today (link opens in PDF). With only $48 million more in new orders, October's seasonally adjusted $216 billion is a mere 0.02% higher than September's new orders. Using the not seasonally adjusted numbers in the report shows a 5.3% increase from October 2011 to October 2012.
Although this report is no cause for celebration, it does manage to beat the market's expectations of a 0.8% monthly drop in new orders.
New orders for computers and related products suffered the most, decreasing 9.3% in the last month. Defense capital goods dropped 7.1% from September, while new orders for transportation equipment fell 3.1%. Meanwhile, communications equipment rocketed 11.4%, following at least three months of decreasing new orders.
This newest report comes after a 9.2% jump in new orders for September, and a 13.1% drop for August. Year-to-date, new orders have improved by 4.9% over the year-ago period.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods rose by 0.4% to $374 billion, the highest level since data became available in 1992. Transportation equipment inventories increased 1% to $114 billion, also the largest amount ever recorded.