So. What are durable goods orders, and why does anyone care? Well, the durable goods orders report tracks the percent change in manufacturing orders for real, physical products. Positive results mean that new orders are increasing, which is an indication that the manufacturing sector is doing well, which is in turn an indication that GDP may be growing. And everyone likes to see GDP growth.
Now, for January, durable goods orders increased 2.7%. Most of this growth was driven by transportation and defense orders. Ex-transportation, durable goods were down 3.6% while ex-transportation, durable goods orders were only up 1.9%.
Looking at February, the Econoday-surveyed analysts are expecting some slowdown in new durable goods orders, with an increase of only 1.5%.
The US Census Bureau provides us with the actual results. New orders for manufactured durable goods fell 0.9% (substantially missing expectations). Ex-transportation, new orders decreased 0.6%. Ex-defense, new orders increased 0.4%.