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.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.