Durable Goods Order Jump Led By Autos: Positive Hurricane Impact?

The Census Bureau reports “New orders for manufactured durable goods in August increased $3.9 billion or 1.7 percent to $232.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

by Mish

This increase, up two of the last three months, followed a 6.8 percent July decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2 percent.”

Yep, new orders are up two of the last three months, but they are also up three of the last five, with two wild swings, one in each direction. Let’s investigate more details.

Durable Goods Categories

Hurricane Impact

Hurricane Harvey destroyed 300,000 to 500,000 vehicles in Houston alone, according to Cox Automotive estimates. The firm, parent company of Kelly Blue Book and AutoTrader.com, has its headquarters in Atlanta.

Good for Dealers Bad for Drivers

Good News for the Economy?

In one word no. Involuntary destruction of productive assets is never a good thing economically.

Yet, New York Fed president William Dudley says Hurricane Effect to Provide Long Run “Economic Benefit”.

Consistency Underappreciated

Today’s durable goods report is likely to boost GDP estimates a tiny bit, but that will come at the expense of already fading future demand.

GDP estimates have fallen substantially.

We have economically clueless officials setting interest rates and policy.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock