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Orders for Big-Ticket Items Plunge in June

Some bad news vs. not-so-bad news from a Commerce Department report this morning on purchases of big-ticket products.

Factory orders for big-ticket "durable goods" -- such as aircraft, refrigerators, cars, steel -- plunged in June by the biggest amount in five months, down 2.5 percent, much more than the 0.6 percent forecast.

That's the bad news.

The not-so-bad news: If you take out commercial aircraft, which no one is buying, and autos -- Chrysler had shut down its plants during its bankruptcy -- then orders for the durable goods actually inched up 1.1 percent last month.

June had a 38.5 percent drop in orders for commercial aircraft, which makes sense in an ongoing recession, now in its 19th month. Boeing is a culprit in this number, as it keeps pushing back the launch date for its (I think it's now fair to call it "troubled") 787 Dreamliner. Airlines have been canceling orders for the big jet, but other aircraft manufacturers are getting hurt, too.

Orders for vehicles and parts dropped 1 percent in June.

The growth in orders last month came from primary metals, such as steel, which jumped 8.9 percent, and industrial machinery, up 4.4 percent, both possibly anticipating a jump-start from the $787 billion government stimulus.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  July 29, 2009; 9:51 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Boeing, Commerce Department, durable goods  
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Hey oil slicks. Look for oil to go down and keep going. Drink up.

Posted by: Dermitt | July 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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