WASHINGTON — New orders of durable goods fell 1.1% in May, a decline that matched economist estimates and was driven mostly by reduced transportation equipment orders, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.
The figure followed a revised 3.0% gain in April, first reported as a 2.9% jump. Excluding transportation, May durable goods orders rose 0.9% after a revised 0.8% decline in April initially reported as a 1.0% drop.
Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc., said in a research note that the decline in the May headline number was not alarming, given the influence of aircraft sales — a notoriously volatile indicator component.
“The underlying trend still appears to be upward,” Moran wrote. “Shipments of capital goods other than aircraft, which provides insight into capital spending in the current quarter, rose 1.6%.”
New orders for transportation equipment fell 6.9% after surging a revised 15.4% in April — originally reported as a 16.1% rise.
Durable goods were expected to fall 1.1% in May and goods excluding transportation were expected to rise 1.0%, according to the median estimate in a Thomson Reuters survey of economists.