New orders for manufactured durable goods fell 5.7% to $216.3 billion for March, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today. This month's decrease mirrors February's increase, when new Boeing orders helped boost orders up an unrevised 5.7%.
New orders for transportation equipment proved a major bust for March, dropping 15% to $62.4 billion. Excluding transportation from overall calculations, new orders fell a slight 1.4%.
But even with the improved numbers, March's report disappointed analysts' expectations of a 2.8% overall decrease in new orders and a 0.5% increase excluding transportation.
In a rare sign of sustainable growth, a 0.2% increase in new orders for motor vehicles and parts followed February's 4.7% jump. New orders are up 9.8% year to date for 2013.
Shipments for March increased 0.4%, coinciding with a 0.6% drop in unfilled orders. Inventories, up 17 of the past 18 months, bumped up another 0.1% to hit (yet again) a new all-time high since data was first recorded in 1992.
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