Durable goods orders are somewhat of a mixed bag today, but beneath the headline rise, weakness is easy to find.

The Bloomberg Consensus was for a 0.5% rise, and the actual result was a whopping 4% gain due to transportation.

Yet, transportation for last month was revised lower, and excluding transportation durable goods orders shrank.

More importantly, core capital goods orders declined for at least four consecutive months.

Let’s dive into the Census Report on Durable Goods for more details. Here is a table of key items I made from the report.

Item Mar Feb Jan Feb-Mar %Chg Jan-Feb % Chg Dec-Jan % Chg
Total New Orders 240,175 230,911 234,272  4.0 -1.4 1.9
Ex-Transportation Orders 159,917 160,174 162,227 -0.2 -1.3 -0.9
Ex-Defense Orders 228,119 222,394 224,652 2.6 -1.0 2.2
Transportation Orders 80,258 70,737 72,045 13.5 -1.8 8.9
Capital Goods Orders 89,673 85,588 86,723 4.8 -1.3 7.1
Non-Defense Capital Goods Orders 80,213 77,504 79,214 3.5 -2.2 -0.3
Defense Capital Goods Orders 9,460 8,084 7,509 17 7.7 -6.3
Core Capital Goods Orders 68,189 68,537 70,062 -0.5 -2.2 -0.3
Core Capital Goods Shipments 69,611 69,889 69,789 -0.4 0.1 -0.6

Line items (except the last line which shows shipments) are new orders, in millions of dollars, seasonally adjusted. Core capital goods exclude defense and aircraft.

Once again this was another weak economic report excluding aircraft orders that have long lead times and are frequently cancelled.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock