Durable goods are goods that are intended to be used over a length of time (at least three years according to the official definition used for US government data). These include capital goods used by businesses as well as consumer durables, such as appliances (hard or white goods as opposed to soft goods or consumer non-durables). Statistics for durable goods orders are released every month by the United States Census Bureau and are seen as a proxy for investment by businesses and therefore an indication of sentiment. The Census Bureau puts out two releases per month the Advance Report on Durable Goods: Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders and the Full Report: Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders.
Durable goods in the news
In April 2014 an FT report considered the news that US durable goods orders had risen by 2.6 per cent in March, well ahead of analysts forecasts but there was a view in the markets that the upbeat figures masked more worrying trends.