Depending on how you look at it, this morning's May Durable Goods report out of the U.S. Census Bureau contains good news, bad news, or ... just plain not enough news to decide.

First, the good news
Let's start off on a happy note: Heading into today's trading, investors had been warned to expect about a 1.4% decline in new orders for manufactured durable goods. The fact that orders actually declined only 1.1% was certainly a relief. It's particularly interesting to note that inventories continued to rise, confirming comments that FedEx (NYSE: FDX) made last week about the "restocking" trend continuing pace. Also curious -- but for the transportation equipment sector of the economy, overall orders would have been up in May.

Now, the bad
And that right there is the bad news: Orders for transportation equipment (read: "airplanes") suffered a steep decline last month. Analysts appear to be blaming Boeing (NYSE: BA) for the drop, but I'm not so sure that's the right call.

Do you see what I see?
After all, what's Boeing been doing these past few weeks? Upping production plans for its 737 airliner. Warning suppliers like United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) and General Electric (NYSE: GE) to ramp their parts production to meet Boeing's own expected demand. I ask you -- does this sound like a company whose orders are coming in light?

From where I sit, the reported rise in durable goods inventories, which would include United Technologies' and GE's plane parts, coupled with Boeing's heel-and-toe production ramps, suggest there's another fox in the economic henhouse. If airplane orders are coming in light, though, but Boeing's not to blame -- who is? It could be the real culprits are manufacturers of smaller birds -- General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and its Gulfstreams, Textron and its Cessnas, or perhaps Hawker-Beechcraft, formerly owned by Raytheon.

Foolish takeaway
These companies don't report earnings until next month, and investors may find themselves perched on the edges of their seats in worry for several weeks, awaiting confirmation of who's to blame. The good news? With the exception of Goldman (which has other things to worry about), these companies all report earnings late in July -- which will give us at least a few days to review another round of manufacturing data before the earnings news gets confirmed. Stay tuned.

Take the Foolish Rorschach test. Do you see something different in today's chart? Tell us about it below.

General Dynamics is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. FedEx is a Stock Advisor pick.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. Rich is not a licensed economist, but he plays one on the Web. Check out his latest stock recommendations on Motley Fool CAPS. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.