Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 10. June 2014

Capital Goods Orders Up 11.7%

According to the Census Bureau, real capital goods new orders in April 2014 were $87,483 million. This was the most capital goods orders in the month of April since April 2008. In April, the month-over-month rate was 11.7%, which is the second month in a row that it was above 10%. Since May 2013, the month-over-month rate of change has grown seven times in 12 months. All seven months of growth were at least double digits. All but one month where 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 nine straight months. During that time, the annual rate of change has generally accelerated its rate of growth, reaching 6.3% in April. 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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