U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Flat

Washington, Rabi’I 12, 1437, Dec 23, 2015, SPA — Orders to U.S. factories for durable goods were flat in November, as the impact of a strong dollar and a weak global economy hurts manufacturers, while a closely watched measure of business spending plans fell, the government reported Wednesday.
The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods—expensive manufactured items expected to last at least three years—were nearly unchanged last month after a 2.9 percent surge in October.
Demand for autos, electronic products, and fabricated metals increased last month, but the gains were offset by declines in machinery and aircraft.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft—a key measure of business investment—fell 0.4 percent in November after a 0.6 percent rise the previous month.
Durable-goods orders have fallen 3.7 percent in the past 11 months. Slow economic growth among major U.S. trading partners—including Europe, China, and Japan—has caused the dollar to rise in value, making U.S. goods more expensive overseas. The dollar has gained nearly 20 percent against other major currencies in the last 18 months.
Manufacturing, which accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. economy, also has been hurt by business efforts to reduce excess inventory, which has limited growth in new orders. Plunging crude-oil prices, which on Monday hit their lowest levels since 2004, have pressured oilfield services firms, forcing them to cut capital spending budgets.
–SPA
21:28 LOCAL TIME 18:28 GMT