US durable goods orders tumble 4.9%
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US durable goods orders tumble 4.9%

Financial Times | August 24, 2005

US economyNew orders for manufactured durable goods in July tumbled $10.6bn, or 4.9 per cent, to $204.7bn, the US Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The fall, which was sharply higher than expected, is the biggest since January 2004 as demand shrank for most manufactured goods.

July’s drop comes after two months of consecutive increases.

Economists had been expecting a fall in orders in July of about 1.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent. Orders rose by 1.9 per cent in June.

Meanwhile, there was further evidence of continuing strong demand in the US housing market as new homes sales jumped 6.5 per cent inJuly. Government data released Wedmesday showed that new home purchases rose sharply in the north-east and in the west, while median prices dropped.

On Tuesday, new data showed a robust level of existing home sales, - though the July figure was slightly below that for June - while prices for existing home sales continued to rise at double digit rates.

The manufactured goods figures released on Wednesday showed that shipments of manufactured durable goods in July, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.2bn or 0.1 per cent to $206.4bn. This followed a 0.3 per cent June increase.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods, up 17 of the last 18 months, rose $1.6bn or 0.6 per cent to $282.2bn. This followed a 0.4 per cent fall in June.

Non-defence orders for capital goods fell $5.6bn or 7.3 per cent to $71.1bn, while defence orders fell $1.5bn or 16.6 per cent to $7.3bn.

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