Demand for transport equipment dropped 2.7 percent, after rising 0.2 percent in the prior month, mostly due to a slowdown in defense aircraft and parts (6.3 percent vs 52.7 percent) and as civilian aircraft continued to decline (-11.8 percent vs -17.2 percent). Also, orders went down for fabricated metal products (-1.5 percent vs 1.1 percent); computers and electronic products (-0.9 percent vs -0.4 percent); and motor vehicles and parts (-1.6 percent, the same as in August). In addition, demand of primary metals increased 0.3 percent, slowing from a 2.1 percent gain in August. On the other hand, orders rose for machinery (0.2 percent vs -0.3 percent) and electrical equipment, appliances, and components (0.9 percent vs -1.8 percent).
Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.3 percent (vs 0.3 percent in August). Excluding defense, new orders fell 1.2 percent (vs -0.9 percent in August).
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, went down 0.5 percent, after falling 0.6 percent in August.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in September, down three consecutive months, decreased $1.0 billion or 0.4 percent to $252.5 billion. This followed a 0.1 percent August decrease. Transportation equipment, also down three consecutive months, drove the decrease, $1.0 billion or 1.2 percent to $84.6 billion. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in September, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased less than $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $1,163.5 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent August increase. Fabricated metal products, down following three consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $0.1 billion or 0.1 percent to $87.0 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods in September, up fourteen of the last fifteen months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.5 percent to $430.3 billion. This followed a 0.2 percent August increase. Transportation equipment, also up fourteen of the last fifteen months, led the increase, $2.1 billion or 1.4 percent to $145.3 billion.
Nondefense new orders for capital goods in September decreased $2.1 billion or 2.8 percent to $71.6 billion. Shipments decreased $0.1 billion or 0.1 percent to $74.2 billion. Unfilled orders decreased $2.6 billion or 0.4 percent to $690.4 billion. Inventories increased $1.8 billion or 0.9 percent to $194.5 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in September decreased $0.6 billion or 4.5 percent to $13.2 billion. Shipments increased $0.2 billion or 1.4 percent to $12.8 billion. Unfilled orders increased $0.4 billion or 0.2 percent to $157.5 billion. Inventories increased $0.2 billion or 1.0 percent to $24.0 billion.