Demand for fabricated metal products advanced 1.3 percent, rebounding from a 0.8 percent fall in the prior month. Also, orders increased for machinery (0.6 percent vs -1.1 percent) and primary metals (1.5 percent vs -1.1 percent). Meanwhile, demand for transport equipment fell 0.4 percent, after jumping 7.2 percent in the prior month, mostly due to a slowdown in defense aircraft and parts (30.3 percent vs 33.0 percent) and a decline in civilian aircraft (-17.1 percent vs 52.2 percent) and motor vehicles and parts (-0.8 percent vs 0.1 percent) orders. Additionally, demand dropped for electrical equipment, appliances, and components (-1.3 percent vs 0.1 percent) and computers and electronic products (-0.3 percent vs a flat reading).
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, went down 0.2 percent, after a flat reading in July.
Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5 percent (vs -0.5 percent in July). Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.6 percent (vs 1.3 percent in July).
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in August, up three of the last four months, increased $0.3 billion or 0.1 percent to $254.2 billion. This followed a 1.2 percent July decrease. Machinery, up four of the last five months, drove the increase, $0.5 billion or 1.6 percent to $33.4 billion Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in August, up two consecutive months, increased $0.7 billion or 0.1 percent to $1,162.3 billion. This followed a 0.1 percent July increase. Fabricated metal products, up three consecutive months, led the increase, $0.6 billion or 0.7 percent to $87.2 billion.