Durable Goods Up 0.3%, Below Forecasts

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders, those enduring, long-lasting, manufactured goods, rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, or about $600 million, last month to reach $193 billion.
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WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) -- New orders for durable goods grew at an anemic rate in July, according to a government report released Wednesday, as demand for items like computers and machinery dropped sharply during the month.

The Commerce Department said durable orders -- or those enduring, long-lasting, manufactured goods -- rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, or about $600 million, last month to reach $193 billion. But that effort disappointed analysts and economists, who were looking for orders to grow by 3%, according to consensus projections provided by

Briefing.com

.

The tepid growth, however, was better than the order drops in June and May of 0.1% and 0.7%, respectively.

But after discounting demand for transportation items, new orders actually fell by 3.8% during the month, which was far worse than the modest 0.5% uptick expected by most.

Transportation orders rose by 13.1% in July, led primarily by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft and parts. But machinery items slipped 15% and computer orders slumped 12.7% last month.

Demand for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a measure that many use as an indicator of general business spending, slipped by 8%.

The government also said shipments increased by 2.2% last month.

Stocks began the Wednesday session in negative territory, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

down 30 points, or 0.3%, at 10,010 and the

S&P 500

losing 5 points, or 0.5%, at 1047 soon after the opening bell.

--Written by Sung Moss in New York.

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Sung Moss

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