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New orders for manufactured goods fell -$2.9 billion (-0.6%) in September marking the second consecutive monthly decline after August’s -0.1% drop. A -$2.4 billion (-2.8%) drop in transportation equipment led a -$3.1 billion (-1.2%) decrease in durable goods orders, both of which had increased in the three prior consecutive months, and orders excluding transportation were only down -$505 million (-0.1%). Orders fell for construction, mining, and material handling machinery, but these were more than balanced out by increases in orders for metalworking machinery, turbines, and photographic equipment, bringing overall machinery orders up $81 million (+0.2%) for the month. Defense orders were up for communications equipment and aircraft, but orders for navigation equipment dropped, with overall orders excluding defense unchanged at -0.6%.
The trade deficit narrowed by -$2.5 billion to $52.5 billion, with imports falling off more steeply (-$4.421 billion to $258,440) than exports fell (-$1.835 billion to $205,990 billion). Goods exports fell -$1.9 billion, with decreases for soybeans (-$1.0 billion) and automobiles (-$1.0 billion), but increases for capital goods (+0.8 billion). Imports fell for household goods/cell phones (-$0.8 billion), entertainment goods (-$0.6 billion), semiconductors (-$0.6 billion), and automobiles (-$1.1 billion). Service exports fell -$0.1 billion, while service imports increased by +$0.1 billion. Trade deficits dropped with Germany (-$1.9 billion to $5.0 billion) and China (-$0.9 billion to $28.0 billion), but increased with Canada (+$0.9 billion to +$2.5 billion).
Job openings fell -277,000 to 7.0 million on the last day of September, down -5.0% from September 2018, and the lowest number of job openings since March 2018, although the number of available jobs still exceeded the number of unemployed workers by 1 million. The total number of hires for the month increased +50,000 to 5.934 million, with separations increasing +76,000 to 5.808 million. The quits rate dropped from 2.4% to 2.3%, matching the rate in September 2018, with higher rates for leisure/hospitality (4.5%), retail (3.4%), and construction (2.5%), and lower than average rates for government (0.8%), education (1.3%), and mining (1.5%). In the 12 months ending in September, there were 69.9 million hires and 67.4 million separations, yielding a yearly net employment gain of 2.5 million.
Friday November 15 – Retail Sales
Friday November 15 – Industrial Production