Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 6. May 2014

Capital Goods Orders Jump 12.2% in March 2014

According to the Census Bureau, real capital goods new orders in March 2014 were $101,582 million. This was only the fourth time ever that March real capital goods new orders were more than $100,000 million. This was the first time that March orders were above $100,000 million since 2008. And, it is just the third time that real capital goods new orders were above $100,000 since January 2013. 

In March, the month-over-month rate of change jumped to 12.2%. Since May 2013, the month-over-month rate of change has grown six times in 11 months. All six months of growth were at least double digits. All but one month were the rate of growth contracted was in single digits. This has always been a volatile data series, but it seems to be even more volatile in the last year. The annual rate of change has grown for eight straight months. During that time, the annual rate of change has generally accelerated its rate of growth, reaching 5.6% in March. This is the fastest rate of annual growth since July 2012.

A good leading indicator for real capital goods new orders is real consumer spending. Since September 2013, the annual rate of change in real consumer spending has seen accelerating growth. This is a very positive sign further accelerating growth in real capital goods new orders.

We use real capital goods new orders to forecast activity in metalcutting job shops, metalworking, and durable goods.

 

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