May 2013 Economic Indicators
Melanie Garza - Director of Operations
New Orders for Manufactured Durable Goods falls in March
May 2013 – The US Census Bureau released the March Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders on May 3. Despite a February increase of 4.3 percent new orders for manufactured durable goods fell 5.8 percent in March to $13.4 billion. New orders in January were also down. Transportation equipment fell 15.1 percent making it the sharpest decline. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased 2.4 percent to $251.3 billion. Meanwhile, the report noted that shipments of manufactured durable goods climbed to a record high of $230.4 billion with a 0.5 percent increase in March with transportation equipment driving the increase.
Consumer Confidence in April
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® reported consumer confidence rose significantly in April, far exceeding estimates by economists. The Index jumped to 68.1 (1985=100) at the end of April, up from 61.9 in March. The Conference Board cited a better short-term economic outlook with rising stock prices, lower gasoline costs and climbing home values. In March, the Index plummeted in part due to the federal spending cuts. The Conference Board also reported that Consumers’ outlook for the labor market improved in April. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead improved to 14.2 percent from 13.0 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs decreased to 22.4 percent from 26.0 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase rose to 16.8 percent from 14.6 percent, while those expecting a decrease declined to 16.0 percent from 17.7 percent.