Orders for durable goods rose for the fourth consecutive month in August, and orders from previous months were revised sharply higher, according to Commerce Department data released Friday
The manufacturing sector’s recovery now looks to have been even stronger than thought. The government said new orders for durable goods—products that typically last three years or more—rose 0.4 percent in August compared with the previous month. Orders for July were revised up to show a 11.7 percent gain, above the 11.2 percent gain reported a month ago.
June’s gains now stand at a 7.7 percent gain. In May, durable goods orders jumped 15.1 percent as the economy reopened. Orders were down sharply in March and April.
Despite the gains, orders remain 4.5 percent below where they were a year ago.
The August gain fell short of economist forecasts for a 1.5 percent gain but the upward revision to July and June implies that those gain happened earlier.
Orders for non-defense core capital goods, a proxy for business investment, rose by 1.8 percent, slightly better than expected. The prior month’s figure was revised up to a 2.5 percent gain, much stronger than the 1.9 percent reported earlier. Machinery orders rose 1.5 percent.
The manufacturing sector’s comeback has been surprisingly strong, indicating that factory jobs and manufacturing businesses are more resilient to pandemics than services.
The booming housing sector may also be feeding into durable goods orders as new homes need to be equipped with appliances and other durable goods.