Biden’s Broken Economy: Cars and Computers Orders Slump as Shortages Drag Durable Goods

US President Joe Biden participates in a CNN Town Hall hosted by Don Lemon at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 21, 2021. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Orders and shipments of computers and autos fell in June as consumers, dealers, and manufacturers continue to struggle with shortages in parts and labor, as well as soaring shipping and materials costs.

New orders for motor vehicles fell 0.3 percent in June, after rising 2.0 percent in May, data from the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Shipments of cars and trucks fell 0.5 percent.

Similarly, orders of computers and related products fell 0.6 percent and shipments declined 1.7 percent.

Orders for appliances were flat for the month while shipments rose one percent.

Overall, however, new orders for products meant to last at least three years, known as durable goods, rose 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted $257.6 billion in June as compared with May. That was a smaller gain than economists expected.

Orders for the prior month were revised up strongly, showing a 3.2 percent gain in May from April. Originally, this was reported as 2.3 percent.  Orders have been up for 13 of the last 14 months.

New orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—considered a proxy for business investment—increased a better than expected 0.5 percent in June from the previous month. The prior month such orders also were also revised up to show a 0.5 percent gain (from a one-tenth point gain initially).

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