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News : US Economy Last Updated: Jan 27, 2011 - 3:06 PM


US orders for capital equipment grew in December; New weekly jobless claims jump 51,000 - - spike resulted from backlog of claims
By Finfacts Team
Jan 27, 2011 - 2:56 PM

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US orders for capital equipment from the business sector - - items expected to last at least 10 years - - rose in December for a second month, signalling evidence of growing business demand for goods like mainframe computers, servers and communications gear excluding aircraft, as the value climbed 1.4% after a 3.1% gain in November. Initial weekly jobless benefit claims jumped 51,000 last week, partially relating to the processing of a backlog of claims resulting from bad weather conditions.

New orders for US manufactured durable goods  - - items expected to last at least 3 years - - in December fell $5.0bn or 2.5% to $191.0bn, the US Census Bureau announced today. This dip, down four of the last five months, followed a 0.1% November decrease. Excluding transportation (mainly commercial aircraft), new orders increased 0.5%.

Excluding defense, new orders decreased 2.5%. Transportation equipment, also down four of the last five months, had the largest decrease, $5.8bn or 12.8% to $39.2bn. This was due to nondefense aircraft (e.g. Boeing) and parts, which decreased $5.0bn.

Shipments: Shipments of manufactured durable goods in December, up three of the last four months, increased $2.8bn or 1.4% to $200.4bn. This followed a 0.5% November increase.

Machinery, up four of the last five months, had the largest increase, $1.7bn or 6.7% to $27.1bn.

Unfilled Orders: Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in December, down following eight consecutive monthly increases, decreased $3.6bn or 0.4% to $822.8bn. This followed a 0.5% November increase.

Transportation equipment, down two consecutive months, had the largest decrease, $8.7bn or 1.8% to $473.6bn.

Inventories:Inventories of manufactured durable goods in December, up twelve consecutive months, increased $2.1bn or 0.7% to $322.0bn. This followed a 0.9% November increase.

Transportation equipment, also up twelve consecutive months, had the largest increase, $1.6bn or 1.9% to $86.3bn.

Capital Goods: Nondefense new orders for capital goods - - items expected to last at least 10 years - -  in December dipped $4.2bn or 6.3% to $61.4bn.

Shipments increased $1.8bn or 2.8% to $67.1bn. Unfilled orders decreased $5.7bn or 1.1% to $498.8bn. Inventories increased $1.2bn or 0.9% to $136.9bn. Defense new orders for capital goods in December decreased $0.3bn or 3.6% to $8.4bn.

Shipments increased $0.1bn or 1.5% to $8.9bn. Unfilled orders decreased $0.4bn or 0.3% to $139.0bn. Inventories decreased $0.1bn or 0.8% to $17.6bn.

New US Weekly Jobless Claims

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that in the week ending Jan. 22, the seasonally adjusted initial weekly claims was 454,000, an increase of 51,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 403,000. The 4-week moving average was 428,750, an increase of 15,750 from the previous week's revised average of 413,000.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Jan. 15 was 3,991,000, an increase of 94,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,897,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,975,500, a decrease of 39,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,015,250.

A Labor Department official said snow in four southern states in previous weeks resulted in a backlog of claims that were processed last week.

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