Durable Goods Orders
Durable goods orders are generally believed to be a precursor of activity in the manufacturing sector because manufacturing must have an order before considering an increase in production. Conversely,
a decrease in orders eventually causes production to be scaled back; otherwise the manufacturer accumulates inventories, which must be financed.
Unfortunately, durable goods orders data has many drawbacks. The first problem with the orders data is that they are extremely volatile. The volatility of the data usually is attributed to the civilian aircraft and defense components of the figure. For example,
if Boeing has a big order for one of its jumbo jets, the civilian aircraft category can change by $3-4 billion. The same scenario is evident when an aircraft carrier is ordered, surges in the defense category result. The second problem with the data is that
orders are continuously being revised. There are many times in the past when the advance report on durables showed an increase while a revision a week later showed a decrease. The revised data is found in the report on manufacturing orders, shipments, and
Since the data is very volatile and difficult to forecast, there is quite often a huge disparity between the actual release and the initial projections. If the durable goods report is much stronger than expected, look for mortgage interest rates to push higher.
If favorable, the data may help interest rates remain steady or even push lower.