US durable goods new orders rose solidly in February, but the headline number was almost entirely driven by a transportation surge, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Orders rose by 1.2% (-0.6% expected) in February but were down 0.6% (-0.3% expected) when a 4.6% jump in transportation orders is excluded, showing that there were some early effects from the global COVID-related shutdowns.
There was a 0.8% gain in durable goods shipments but were down 0.2% outside of transportation. Nondefense capital goods shipments ex. aircraft fell by 0.7% and orders fell by 0.8%, proxies for capital spending.
The full manufacturing report, which includes data on nondurable goods, will be released on April 2.
In other data Wednesday, U.S. January FHFA home price index was +0.3% (+0.4% expected) and +5.2% year/year. The data, of course, precede even the earliest impact of the COVID virus in the US. In future months prices are likely to slip due to falling demand.