US new orders for durable goods fell in November, driven by a drop in commercial aircraft and parts orders.
Orders slid $11 billion, or 4.6%, to $228.2 billion, the US Census bureau said in a report today. That was down from an adjusted $239.2 billion for October. The November decline snapped a streak of four consecutive monthly increases.
Transportation equipment posted a 13% decline in new orders in November to $76.6 billion. That sector also had posted four straight monthly increases prior to November.
Within the category, orders for commercial aircraft and parts plunged 73.5% to $5.8 billion. Aerospace has been one of manufacturing’s strongest performers. However, the commercial aircraft industry has been slowing amid a sluggish economy in developing markets. What’s more, airlines are delaying purchases of new, more fuel efficient aircraft because of low oil prices.
Other sectors within transportation equipment recorded increases during the month. Defense aircraft and parts orders more than doubled to $7.8 billion. Orders for motor vehicles and parts increased 0.8% to $55.4 billion.
US sales of cars and light trucks may post a record this year, slightly exceeding 2015’s 17.47 million deliveries. IHS Markit this week forecast a small decline for 2017 but said annual sales of 17 million can be sustained.
Among other categories, new orders for machinery rose 1.3% to $30.1 billion. Primary metals gained 2.3% to $18.5 billion. Fabricated metal products declined 0.9% to $30.7 billion.