Durable Goods Surged 3.3 Percent in April

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
May 24 2013 8:59 AM

No "Spring Swoon" Yet—Durable Goods Surged 3.3 Percent in April

169400579
Yes, cardboard cutouts of David Beckham are a kind of capital goods.

Photo by Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images

Durable goods orders plunged 5.9 percent in March, which raised fears that we might be in for another "spring swoon" after a promising winter. But the April report (PDF) shows a 3.3 percent increase—well above consensus expectations.

This is generally a noisy data series, so people look to nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft parts for a more stable read of underlying economic activity. That index rose 0.9 percent in March and then 1.2 percent in April.* Not wild boom times but, again, no sign of a spring swoon. There are going to be plenty of job losses directly related to sequestration over the next several months, but the private sector is chugging along pretty nicely.

Advertisement

Correction, May 24, 2013: This post originally said orders on nondefense capital goods rose 1.3 percent in April.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 22 2014 2:27 PM Facebook Made $595 Million in the U.K. Last Year. It Paid $0 in Taxes
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 22 2014 1:01 PM The Surprisingly Xenophobic Origins of Wonder Bread
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 2:59 PM Netizen Report: Twitter Users Under Fire in Mexico, Venezuela, Turkey
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.