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New orders for durable goods hit record high

It seems that "summer slump" is just an illusion as the U.S. Census Bureau reports that new orders for manufactured durable goods in July increased $55.3 billion or 22.6% to $300.1 billion. This increase, up five of the last six months, was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992, and followed a 2.7% June increase. However, take transportation out of the mix, and new orders decreased 0.8%. Transportation equipment, up 10 of the last 11 months, drove the increase, up $56.6 billion or 74.2% to $133.0 billion.

On July 31, Boeing Co. concluded a sale of 40 wide-body 777s valued at $13 billion to All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer for Boeing's 787. ANA has become the world's largest customer for the Boeing Dreamliner with a total of 80 airplanes in its fleet. A few days ago Boeing announced it won an order totaling $8.8 billion from BOC Aviation Pte for 82 planes including two wide-body 777s.

July was a good month for the automotive industry as well as U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 9% year-over-year to $1.44 million. Sales on an annualized rate basis increased to 16.5 million from the year-ago level of 15.8 million units. General Motors saw July sales up 9% year-over-year with 256.160 vehicles sold - the company's best July since 2007. Ford reported a 10% increase in total sales from the same period a year ago to 212,236 vehicles, the company best July sales in eight years. Chrysler Group reported a 20% year-over-year jump in sales with 167,667 vehicles, the best July sales for the company since 2005.

Toyota's sales increased 7.3% year-over-year on a daily selling rate basis and 11.6% on volume to 215,802 units in July.  Nissan Motor posted an 11.4% year-over-year increase in sales to 121452 vehicles in July, with sales in the Nissan division climbing 11.5% to 112, 914 vehicles, and sales of Infiniti vehicles jumping 10% to 8,538 units in the month. Honda was the laggard reporting a 3.9% year-over-year decrease in sales on volume basis to 135,908 vehicles in July. Honda's luxury vehicle division, Acura, fell 17.6% on volume basis and 20.8% on DSR basis to 12,480 vehicles.

Non-defense new orders for capital goods in July increased $51.5 billion or 60.8% to $136.3 billion. Shipments increased $1.1 billion or 1.4% to 79.1 billion. Defense new orders for capital goods in July decreased $1.5 billion or 15.3% to $8.6 billion. 

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