Durable Goods Drop Most in 6 Years; Consumer Confidence Fell

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased $19.0 billion or 8.3% to $210 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the largest drop in more than six years. This followed two consecutive monthly increases, including an 8.7% September increase. 

Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1.7%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 6.4%. Transportation equipment, down following two consecutive monthly increases, had the largest decrease, $16.5 billion or 21.7% to $59.7 billion. This was led by nondefense aircraft and parts, which decreased $10.6 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in October, up nine of the last ten months, increased $2.3 billion or 0.8 percent to $293.8 billion. This followed a 1.1 percent September increase. Transportation equipment, up seven of the last eight months, had the largest increase, $0.9 billion or 1.3 percent to $68.3 billion.

Capital Goods: Nondefense new orders for capital goods in October decreased $13.6 billion or 15.6 percent to $73.2 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in October decreased $5.7 billion or 42.1 percent to $7.8 billion. 

Consumer Confidence:

The Conference Board said its widely watched consumer confidence index fell to 102.9 in November from a revised reading of 105.1 in October. November's figure was well below economists' expectations of a 106 reading.

The group's Present Situation Index, which measures how shoppers feel now about economic conditions, declined to 123.6 from 125.1. Its Expectations Index, which measures consumers' outlook over the next six months, declined to 89.2 from 91.9 in November.

The consumer confidence report showed that labor market conditions were less favorable than in October. Those saying jobs are "hard to get" rose to 22.4 percent from 21.8 percent. Those claiming jobs are "plentiful" increased slightly to 25.8 percent from 25.6 percent in October.

Consumers' short-term outlook was less optimistic in November than in October. Those expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months decreased to 15.1 percent from 18.5. Those anticipating business conditions to worsen, however, decreased to 8.5 percent from 10.0 percent.

The outlook for the labor market remained mixed. Consumers expecting more jobs to become available in the coming months decreased to 13.1 percent from 15.1 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs also decreased to 16.7 percent from 18.0 percent.

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