Demand for manufactured industrial goods remains strong despite record-high inflation—at least, as of May.
On Monday, June 27, The U.S. Census Bureau released its regular report on durable goods orders for May 2022, showing that new orders for durable goods increased that month by $1.9 billion, or 0.7%, up from a 0.4% increase in April. In total, manufacturers received $267.2 billion in orders in May.
The data also show that shipments, unfilled orders, inventories and capital goods orders all grew alongside new orders of durable goods.
The results indicate that demand persists despite record-high inflation: Economists polled by AFP had predicted a much weaker report for the month.
Transportation led the growth in new orders, notching 0.8 point growth from April to May, but other industries also performed well: Excluding transportation equipment from the numbers entirely, other durable goods businesses would have still managed 0.7 point growth.
In transportation equipment, which saw a total of $87.5 million in orders, demand for military aircraft and motor vehicles made up for lagging civilian aircraft orders. Defense aircraft orders grew by 8.1 points while motor vehicles orders grew by half a point, offsetting the 1.1 fall in other planes and parts.
Outside transportation equipment, growth in primary metals orders was strongest with an increase of 3.1 points. Machinery orders increased by 1.1 points, and fabricated metal product orders were flat from April. New orders of computers fell by 0.7 points, but elsewhere in electronics, communications equipment orders rose 2.0 points.