Flying High: Orders for U.S.-Made Durable Goods Hit 35-Month Peak

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 27, 2017 | 12:23 PM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) - New orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods hit a 35-month high in June, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

The increase was largely driven by orders for nondefense aircraft and parts.

In May, new orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods were valued at $230.684 billion. In June, they climbed to $245.568 billion—an increase of $14.884 billion or 6.5 percent.

The increase was largely driven by new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts, as indicated in Table 1 of the Census Bureau’s data. In May, new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts were valued at $10.953 billion. In June, they climbed to $25.328 billion—a jump of $14.375 billion.

This increase in new orders for aircraft and aircraft parts coincided with the Paris Air Show, which started on June 19. Both Boeing and GE Aviation (which manufactures jet engines) announced significant new orders of their products in connection with that event.

The last time that new orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods exceeded the $245.568-billion level reached this June was in July 2014. That month, new orders for U.S.-manufactured durable goods hit $290.709 billion.

Nondefense aircraft and parts was also the primary driver of the increase in orders for durable manufactures in that month, according to the Census Bureau. In 2014, new orders for nondefense aircraft and parts jumped from $16.836 billion to $70.259 billion.

That year, Boeing had great success at the Farnborough International Airshow held in Hampshire, England. At that show, the company announced orders for 201 airplanes valued at $40.2 billion.

During the course of the entire month of July 2014, Boeing says it took orders for 322 airplanes, including 150 777X aircraft from Emirates airlines and 50 777X aircraft from Qatar Airways.

The data published by the Census Bureau on new orders for manufactured goods is based on its survey of Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders.

“The Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) survey is currently the only survey which provides broad-based monthly statistical data on the economic conditions in the domestic manufacturing sector,” says the Census Bureau in its instructions for the survey.

“It is designed to measure current industrial activity and to provide an indication of future production commitments,” say the instructions. “The value of shipments measures the value of goods delivered during the month by domestic manufacturers. Estimates of new orders serve as an indicator of future production commitments and represent the value of new orders received during the month, net of cancellations.”

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“This survey collects statistics on domestic manufacturing activities of companies located in the United States,” say the survey instructions. “Activities of foreign affiliates or subsidiaries should be excluded.” [The bold emphasis on the words "domestic manufacturing" appears in the Census Bureau's document.]