Durable Goods Orders in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell 0.7% in November

Orders for U.S. durable goods unexpectedly declined in November as corporate investment stagnated and demand weakened for military equipment.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years decreased 0.7 percent, the third decline in four months, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 3 percent gain after a 0.3 percent increase in October. Excluding defense, orders dropped for a fourth month.

Business demand for computers, metals and electrical equipment declined or was little changed last month as the global economy cools. Orders for motor vehicles increased, underscoring a pickup in household spending that helped spur the economy in the third quarter.

Revised figures today showed the economy grew at a 5 percent annualized rate in the three months through September, the biggest gain in 11 years, compared with a prior estimate of 3.9 percent.

Defense-related capital goods bookings dropped 8.1 percent in November after a 10 percent gain the prior month.

Demand for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft was unchanged after a 1.9 percent decrease in October.

Shipments of non-military capital goods excluding aircraft, used in calculating gross domestic product, rose 0.2 percent in November after declining 0.9 percent.

Orders for commercial aircraft climbed 0.6 percent in November. Chicago-based Boeing Co. said it received 224 orders for planes last month, the most since July.

Excluding transportation equipment, which is often volatile from month to month, bookings fell 0.4 percent, today’s data showed.

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