October durable goods orders drop 3.3 percent

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Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged in October by the largest amount in 21 months, reflecting widespread weakness in a number of areas.

Orders for durable goods dropped 3.3 percent last month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The setback was the sharpest decline since demand fell 8 percent in January 2009, a time when the economy was caught in the worst recession since the 1930s. Excluding transportation, which is often volatile, orders were down 2.7 percent, the biggest drop for this measure since March 2009.

The unexpectedly sharp declines raised questions about the strength of manufacturing, which has been one of the economy's standout performers.

It also caught analysts by surprise. It marked the second drop in the past three months. Orders were down 0.8 percent in August and then rose a revised 5 percent in September, a gain that reflected a huge jump in demand for commercial aircraft.

In the latest report, a 4.5-percent drop in orders for nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft, was of special concern. This category is viewed as a good proxy for business investment plans. It was the biggest drop since a 5.3-percent fall in July.

The weakness in October was led by a big plunge in demand for military aircraft, which fell 25.1 percent. Orders for commercial aircraft, which had surged 112.6 percent in September, fell 4.4 percent last month. Demand for autos fell for a third month, dipping 0.7 percent.

Total orders in transportation were down 5.2 percent last month. The 2.7-percent fall in orders outside of transportation reflected weakness in a number of categories.

Orders for primary metals, such as steel, declined 0.8 percent, while demand for heavy machinery fell 3.9 percent.

Orders for computers and electronic products fell 7.7 percent as demand for communications equipment dropped by 12.3 percent, the largest amount in two years.

All of the weakness, if it is repeated in coming months, would raise doubts about the durability of the recovery in manufacturing. U.S. manufacturers have been benefiting from rising global demand, which has helped offset lagging sales in the United States.


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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

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