January 2024 Durable Goods Report Reveals Sharp Decline

James Hyerczyk
Published: Feb 27, 2024, 13:41 UTC

Key Points:

  • New orders for durable goods fell 6.1%
  • Transportation sector declined by 16.2%
  • Potential impact on Federal Reserve decisions
US Durable goods

Analysis of January 2024 Durable Goods Report

The January 2024 Durable Goods Report, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, presents a significant downturn in the sector. New orders for manufactured durable goods witnessed a sharp decline, falling $18.0 billion or 6.1% to $276.7 billion. This contraction exceeds pre-report expectations, which anticipated a 4.9% decrease. The data indicates a pronounced weakness in the sector, marking a decrease in three of the past four months.

Sector-Specific Analysis

The drop in durable goods is primarily attributed to the transportation equipment sector, which saw a steep decline of 16.2%, amounting to $17.4 billion, and settling at $89.8 billion. This sector has been a major contributor to the overall downturn, indicating potential challenges in automotive, aerospace, and related industries.

In contrast, when excluding transportation, new orders saw a marginal decrease of 0.3%, aligning more closely with the pre-report estimate for Core Durable Goods, which was pegged at a 0.2% increase. This suggests that the core sector, barring transportation, remains relatively more stable, though not entirely insulated from the downturn.

The report also highlights a 7.3% drop in orders when excluding defense-related spending. This points to broader economic factors influencing the decline, beyond just defense spending fluctuations.

Market Implications

The substantial decrease in durable goods orders signals potential headwinds for the manufacturing sector. Investors and traders should monitor this as an indicator of economic health, particularly in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. The pronounced decline in transportation equipment orders could be a red flag for companies in this sector and their supply chains.

Moreover, this downturn could influence the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions, as it reflects on the broader economic activity. A continued weakness in durable goods may prompt considerations for adjusting interest rates or other monetary policy tools to stimulate economic growth.


The January 2024 Durable Goods Report paints a concerning picture for the U.S. manufacturing sector, particularly in transportation. The wider impact of this downturn will likely reverberate through related sectors and could influence broader economic policies. Traders and investors in the industrial and manufacturing sectors should exercise caution and closely monitor upcoming economic indicators for further signs of sector health or weakness.

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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