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--April Durable Goods Orders Ex. Transportation Flat
By Kevin Kastner
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - April durable goods orders data were roughly 
inline with expectations for an aircraft-led drop, with the headline 
number falling by 2.1%, compared with a slightly-smaller 2.0% decline 
expected by a Bloomberg median and MNI survey. 
     This follows a downward revision to the previous month's orders and 
may lead to downward adjustments to forecasts for first quarter 
non-residential fixed investment. 
     At the same time, durables shipments fell by 1.6%, the largest 
decline since December 2015 and unfilled orders fell by 0.1% as 
inventories rose. 
     Annual revisions released on May 16 are incorporated into the data. 
     Here are some of the key takeaways from the data released Friday: 
     - The durable goods orders decline was due primarily to a 5.9% 
decrease in transportation orders (largest since May 2018), particularly 
a 25.1% drop in nondefense aircraft orders. Boeing orders were down 
sharply in the month, foreshadowing the decline in the government data. 
     - Excluding transportation, new orders were flat in the month, 
slightly below the 0.1% gain expected in a Bloomberg survey and the 0.2% 
gain expected in an MNI survey. There were declines in computers and 
electronics products and primary metals that were offset by gains in 
electrical equipment, fabricated metals, and machinery. 
     - Nondefense capital goods new orders were down 5.0% in April, and 
were still down 0.9% excluding aircraft. Nondefense capital goods 
shipments were down 3.0% in the month, while shipments ex. aircraft were 
     - Based on the revisions to the March data, analysts could lower 
their forecasts for nonresidential fixed investment ahead of next week's 
second estimate of the first quarter GDP. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **