New orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased $0.9 billion or 0.4 percent to $214.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This was the third consecutive monthly decrease and followed a 1.4 percent September decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.7 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.9 percent.
A three month decrease equals a trend -- and not a good one.
Here is a chart from Econoday which puts this in better perspective:
First, notice the gray lines; these are monthly changes. Starting in late last year (roughly October 2006), we started seeing greater vacillations in the monthly numbers. Also notice there are more negative months and the positive months aren't that large. While there are a few spikes here and there, the general trend is down.
Also notice the yearly numbers, which are in the form of a line. I have added a trend line to indicate the year-over-year change is clearly down and has been for the better part of a year.