Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Orders for US durable goods fall 1 pct, driven by sharp drop in demand for military equipment

FILE - In this March 17, 2014 file photo, Robert and Sarah Reynolds, left, check out a new Tesla all electric car with Tesla representatives John Van Cleave and Raven Rivera, right, at a Tesla showroom inside the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. The Commerce Department releases durable goods for May on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Enlarge Image

FILE - In this March 17, 2014 file photo, Robert and Sarah Reynolds, left, check out a new Tesla all electric car with Tesla representatives John Van Cleave and Raven Rivera, right, at a Tesla showroom inside the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. The Commerce Department releases durable goods for May on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

WASHINGTON - Orders for U.S. durable goods tumbled 1 per cent in May as demand for military equipment fell sharply. But excluding defence-related goods, orders actually rose, and orders in a key category that signals business investment also increased.

The gains outside of military goods suggest business spending is picking up, which could give the economy a much-needed boost.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders, excluding defence, rose 0.6 per cent in May, after falling 0.8 per cent in April. Orders for core capital goods, which reflect business investment, increased 0.7 per cent, after a 1.1 per cent drop.

Factories reported higher demand for steel and other metals, computers, and autos. Orders for defence equipment surged in April, so the sharp fall in May isn't a total surprise. Durable goods are items expected to last at least three years.

The figures come as a separate report showed that the U.S. economy contracted sharply in the first three months of the year, largely because of bad weather. The economy shrank 2.9 per cent at an annual rate in the first quarter, the worst showing since the first quarter of 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession.

But most economists expect growth has resumed in the current quarter, partly because of rising manufacturing output. Most analysts expect the economy will expand by 3.5 per cent in the April-June quarter.

Factory production rose at a steady pace last month, according to the Federal Reserve, as manufacturers cranked out more cars, machinery, furniture, computers and appliances. More output of those goods points to rising demand from consumers and businesses.

And auto sales reached a nine-year high in May as Americans ramped up purchases of SUVs and pickup trucks.

A survey by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, found that manufacturing expanded faster in May than in April. A measure of new orders also rose, pointing to further growth in output in the coming months.

Manufacturers are hiring more to keep up with demand. Factories added 10,000 positions in May, and the average work week for manufacturing employees grew.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates