• Durable goods orders expected to recover from February's sharp declines
  • Business capital spending to return after three months flat 
  • Strong retail sales in March hold promise for improvement 


The US Census Bureau will release its March report on manufacturers new orders for durable goods at 8:30 am EDT, 12:30 pm GMT on Thursday April 25th.


Durable goods orders are expected to rise 0.8% in March having fallen 1.6% in February. Orders excluding the transportation sector are predicted to gain 0.2% after February’s revised 0.1% decline. Orders outside of the defense procurement sector are forecast to rise 0.1% in March following the prior month’s 1.9% drop. Nondefense capital goods orders ex aircraft and parts, a common proxy for business investment spending, are projected to gain 0.1% after February’s 0.1% slide. 

Durable Goods and Retail Sales

Durable goods are a subset of the overall retail sales category whose items are intended to last three years or more in use.  Covering products as diverse as commercial airplanes and trucks to cellphones, bicycles and cutlery they are often purchased less frequently and give a picture of longer range household consumption and business investment.

Retail sales have had a volatile four months.  The -1.6% result in December far below the 0.2% forecast was ascribed to the reporting difficulties created by the partial closure of the federal government for most of January. Of the next three month the spreads between the consensus estimate and the final number were 0.8% in January (0.8% vs 0.0%), 0.5% in February (-0.2% vs 0.3%) and 0.7% in March (1.6% vs 0.9%).

The sales control group, the consumption category for GDP calculation had a similar period. December’s spread was 2.6% (-2.2% vs 0.4%), January’s 1.1% (1.7% vs 0.6%), February 0.7% (-0.3% vs 0.4%) and March 0.6% (1.0% vs 0.4%).

Durable goods have seen considerably less disparity between the consensus predictions and actual numbers as might be expected for products that have less potential for impulse buying by consumers. In December it was 0.3% (1.2% vs 1.5%), January 0.9% (0.4% vs -0.5%) and February 0.2% (-1.6% vs -1.8%).

The business capital goods proxy category, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, was the same. December had a 0.9% spread (-0.7% vs 0.2%0, January 0.7% (0.8% vs 0.1%) and February 0.1% (-0.1% vs 0.0%).

 Leaving out December retail sales had an average discrepancy of 0.67% in January, February and March between the final statistic and the consensus market forecast. The control group’s average was 0.8%.

For durable goods the disparity was 0.55% in January and February and for capital goods it was 0.4%.

The consumer volatility of the past four months has settled down to an excellent return performance in March. The unease stemming from the government shutdown and the focus it brought on the unending partisan warfare in Washington has abated and the American consumer seems to have gone back to their lives and ignoring the machinations in the capital.


Several factors point to a better than expected durable goods result in March. The economy has performed well in the first quarter. Despite low initial estimates for GDP, beginning in early March at less than 0.5% annualized, the most recent forecast from the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model is 2.8%.  Equities have soared to record or near record highs this month based largely on excellent corporate earnings reports.  Retail sales in March were much stronger than predicted, 1.6% vs 0.9% in the overall number and 1.0% s 0.4% in the control group.

If consumers are spending on retail items the likelihood is that extends to durable goods. And if the consumer is spending businesses will as well. 

Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility.

Feed news

Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD extends gains to 1.1200 on sliding US yields, weak data

EUR/USD is trading close to 1.1200, in the wake of the European session as US yields continue falling. The European Parliament elections are in play. US durable goods fell short of expectations with -2.1%. 


GBP/USD off the highs as May announces stepping down on June 7th

GBP/USD is trading below 1.2700 after a quick rise to the upside as UK PM Theresa May announced she will step down on June 7th with Boris Johnson set to take over.


USD/JPY extends slide and looks for a test of May’s low

The USD/JPY pair dropped further ahead of the London fix on the back of a decline of the US Dollar across the board and a pullback in equity prices. 


The market may surprise on the upside in the next few hours with BTC/USD topping $8,250

We reach the end of a week can be characterized as a week of transition. After the strongly bullish days of the beginning of the month, cryptos have reached critical levels of resistance...

Read more

Gold: Bullish flag pattern spotted on 1-hourly chart

The lower end of the descending trend-channel coincides with 200-hour EMA support and should act as a key pivotal point for intraday traders. 

Gold News