May 2014 Economic Indicators

Melanie Garza - Director of Operations

Durable Goods on the Rise

The economic outlook for durable goods is positive.  The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new orders for durable goods continued to grow in March.  New orders increased $6.7 billion or 2.9% in March following a 2.3% increase in February.  In a year over year gain, new orders for durable goods are up 3.9% over 2013.

Transportation equipment led the category with a 4% growth rate over the previous month.  Construction equipment jumped 9.5% in March following nearly 5% growth in January and February.  Nondefense aircraft orders grew 8.4% in March and are up 12% from the previous year.  Automobile orders rose a mere 1.1% in March, compared with a 3.8% hike in February.  Overall, the automotive industry is 9.2% higher than this time last year.

While manufacturers proceeded with caution in new construction, investments in capital equipment is rising.  Industrial machinery orders climbed 5.1% in March and leaped more than 22% from a year ago.  Power equipment including turbines and generators grew 7.8% and material handling equipment also jumped 6% in March.

Meanwhile, new orders for nondurable goods fell .6% in March.

Manufacturers' new Orders: Durable Goods

U.S. Exports Grow

U.S. exports rose to their highest level in 9 months in March, helping to narrow the trade deficit.  The Department of Commerce reported March exports were $193.9 billion, while imports were $234.3 billion. The goods and services deficit fell to $40.4 billion, down from $41.9 billion in February. In March, exports were up $3.9 billion.

Major contributors in the exports increase included: capital goods at a $2.1 billion gain; industrial supplies and materials climbing $0.9 billion; and automotive vehicles, parts, and engines at $0.6 billion. Exports of consumer goods fell $.3 billion.

U.S. International Trade

Questions? Please contact Melanie Garza at