Wednesday’s report on September orders for durable goods is better than it sounds.
Although orders fell by 0.8 percent in September, the bulk of the decline came from aircraft orders, which are often volatile.
Excluding aircraft, durable goods orders rose 2.4 percent, the Commerce Department said, which proved welcome news for a variety of manufacturers who performed well earlier in the year, but in late summer wrestled with depressed demand. The sector's up-and-down performance has been reflected in unpredictable hiring and layoffs that vary wildly month to month.
The uptick in September orders should help stabilize employment trends for the sector for a spell, economists said.
In September, aircraft spending fell by a whopping 25 percent while automakers saw declines of 2 percent. Excluding those items however, businesses and consumers kicked up demand for computers, electronics, machinery, metal framing and other durable products that last several years.
In the report, "there are pockets of strength and pockets of weakness, but the overall tone of the detail is encouraging from a growth perspective," wrote Ward McCarthy and Thomas Simons of Jeffries & Co. in a newsletter.
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