February’s Durable Goods Orders Leap by $3.7 Billion

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Mar 26, 2024, 12:55 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • Durable goods orders jump 1.4%, recovering from previous decline.
  • Business investment grows 0.7%, indicating increased corporate confidence.
  • Manufacturing sector shows signs of revival, eyes on Fed's rate decision.
US Durable Goods


The latest U.S. Census Bureau report indicates a significant rebound in durable goods orders for February, marking a promising shift in the manufacturing sector’s trajectory. This development holds considerable implications for future Federal Reserve policy decisions, particularly regarding interest rate adjustments.

Durable Goods Orders See Upward Swing

In February, new orders for manufactured durable goods saw a notable increase of $3.7 billion or 1.4% to $277.9 billion. This surge comes after two consecutive months of decline, including a 6.9% drop in January. The increase was primarily driven by transportation equipment orders, which rose by $2.9 billion or 3.3% to $90.4 billion. When transportation is set aside, there was a 0.5% increase in new orders, underscoring a broader growth trend beyond just one sector.

Business Investment Gains Momentum

A critical aspect of this report is the rise in business investment, which increased by 0.7% and showed growth for the first time in three months. These investments, often referred to as core orders, are a vital sign of corporate confidence in the economy. Economists from the Wall Street Journal had predicted a 1% rise, but the actual figures surpassed these forecasts, suggesting a stronger-than-expected manufacturing recovery.

Manufacturing Sector Revival

The current state of the manufacturing sector indicates a period of revival after several years of stagnation. This rebound is especially significant given the sector’s previous sluggish demand. The increased demand for durable goods and the uptick in business investment signal a potential shift in the economic landscape, pointing towards a more robust manufacturing sector.

Implications for Federal Reserve Policy

The Federal Reserve’s future interest rate decisions will be crucial in shaping this recovery. A reduction in rates could further stimulate demand for durable goods and bolster business investment. Currently, the manufacturing sector’s growth, albeit promising, is not yet indicative of a full-scale recovery. The Fed’s policy decisions in the coming months will be pivotal in either accelerating or moderating this growth trajectory.

Short-Term Market Forecast

Considering the latest data, there is a bullish outlook for the manufacturing sector in the short term. If the Federal Reserve opts for rate cuts, we could see a significant boost in both durable goods demand and business investment. However, caution is warranted, as the sector’s full recovery hinges on a delicate balance of monetary policy decisions. Traders and investors should watch for the Fed’s upcoming moves, which will likely have a substantial impact on market trends and investment opportunities in the durable goods and manufacturing sectors.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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