Thursday, September 26, 2013

Making Sense of the Durable Goods Numbers

Over the last few months, the durable goods numbers have printed some very wide results.  Let's look at the data to make sense of what we're seeing:

Above is a table from the latest report. The new orders numbers have been all over the place: we see a 3.9% increase followed by an 8.1% decrease followed by a .1% increase.  So -- what's really going on?

I still think the data ex-transportation is really the best number to look at.  And in that category we see that orders ex-transportation increased .1%, decreased .5% and then decreased .1%.  These data points tell us that transportation orders are responsible for a tremendous amount of statistical noise.