Orders for long-lasting durable goods such as vehicles and computers saw the first gain in June in three months, accompanied by an uptick in business investment. However, spending and investment in businesses is still far below the figures seen this time last year.
- Durable goods orders rose by 2% in June vs. 0.7% expected and compared to a -2.3% drop the month prior, marking the first gain in three months.
- Minus the volatile components of transport vehicles, orders rose 1.2%.
- While June figures were higher than expected, the May results were revised downward from -1.3% to -2.3%.
Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods has increased above expectations, with orders rising for autos, machines, computers, networking gear, and primary metals. Orders in defense and commercial aircraft goods saw decline. Orders for passenger planes dropped -32%, likely due to the ongoing scandal surrounding the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which was involved in two fatal crashes since launch, although volatile seasonal demand may also play a hand in reduced aircraft orders.
A measure of business investment called core orders rose 1.9%, the biggest increase in around a year and a half. However, core orders are still far below those seen this time last year, reflecting ongoing uncertainty in the global marketplace. Business investment has risen 1% in the last year compared to highs of 8% seen the year before.
The US/China trade war continues to impact manufacturing and business investment, as businesses are hesitant to make long-term investments amid the current climate of uncertainty and threats of tariffs. However, the services aspect of the US economy is still growing and extending what is now the longest period of economic expansion in US history. Q2 GDP figures are due for release on Friday, with market expectations placing growth at just 2%.
June 2019 new orders for manufactured durable goods, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, +2.0% to $246.0b. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, +3.8%. https://t.co/xKVTIhs1kn #Census pic.twitter.com/Il05FWR6i7
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) July 25, 2019
Gold saw some selling pressure following the release of the news. Spot gold last traded at $1,418.64/oz, up 0.29% with a high of $1,433.22/oz and a low of $1,416.31/oz.