Orders for transport equipment slumped 4.8 percent in February (vs 0.4 percent in January), led by civilian aircraft (31.1 percent vs 9.2 percent) and motor vehicles and parts (-0.1 percent vs -0.5 percent), while orders for defense aircraft and parts rose (2.5 percent vs 1.4 percent). Demand also fell for machinery (-0.3 percent vs 2 percent) and computers and electronic products (-0.3 percent vs -1.8 percent). Meanwhile, increases were recorded in demand for electrical equipment, appliances, and components (1 percent vs 1.3 percent), primary metals (0.7 percent vs -1.8 percent) and fabricated metal products (0.3 percent vs -0.4 percent).
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, edged 0.1 percent lower in February, after increasing 0.9 percent in January.
Excluding transportation, new orders edged up 0.1 percent (vs -0.1 percent in January). Excluding defense, new orders plunged 1.9 percent (vs 0.4 percent in January).
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in February, up three of the last four months, increased $0.5 billion or 0.2 percent to $258.6 billion. This followed a 0.4 percent January decrease. Computers and electronic products, up four of the last five months, led the increase, $0.3 billion or 1.1 percent to $28.0 billion.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in February, down four of the last five months, decreased $3.6 billion or 0.3 percent to $1,177.6 billion. This followed a 0.1 percent January increase. Transportation equipment, also down four of the last five months, drove the decrease, $3.8 billion or 0.5 percent to $807.2 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods in February, up twenty-five of the last twenty-six months, increased $1.3 billion or 0.3 percent to $418.9 billion. This followed a 0.5 percent January increase. Transportation equipment, up five of the last six months, drove the increase, $1.3 billion or 1.0 percent to $134.1 billion.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods in February decreased $5.0 billion or 6.3 percent to $74.5 billion. Shipments increased $0.5 billion or 0.6 percent to $78.9 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $4.4 billion or 0.6 percent to $705.7 billion. Inventories increased $0.5 billion or 0.3 percent to $183.6 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in February decreased $0.4 billion or 3.4 percent to $12.2 billion. Shipments decreased $0.7 billion or 5.3 percent to $12.3 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $0.1 billion or 0.1 percent to $156.0 billion. Inventories decreased less than $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $22.9 billion.