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New orders for US durable goods fell sharply in April from March

May 26/2011

(ICIS) -- According to Commerce Department, new orders for US durable goods fell sharply in April from March, dropping by 3.6% or USD 7.1bn (EUR 5bn) to USD 189.9bn, all but reversing the 4.4% March gain and fuelling more concern about the recovery. The decline in durable goods orders was widespread, with only computers and electronic products showing a 0.7% advance last month, according to the departments data.

Much of the decline was attributed to a precipitous 30% drop in new orders for commercial aircraft and parts and an 8.9% decline in orders for military airplanes and parts. Aircraft orders often are made in multiple-plane purchases and in any given month those commitments - or their lack - can affect manufacturing data disproportionately.

But even with aviation and other transportation orders backed out of the total, overall durable goods orders saw a 1.5% decline. Durable goods are manufactured products meant to last three years or more and include such items as automobiles, appliances, transportation and manufacturing equipment.

Many durable goods, such as computers and automobiles, are major downstream markets for chemicals and derivatives used in manufacturing processes or as end-product components. Within durable goods other than transportation equipment, orders for new machinery were down by 3.4% in April, the department said.  

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