The numbers: Orders for durable goods fell a sharp 0.9% in December, the government said Thursday.
Economists had forecast a 0.6% fall in orders for durable goods — products made to last at least three years.
Core capital goods orders, which exclude volatile sectors like transportation and defense, were unchanged in December. But orders for November were revised up to a 0.3% gain after the prior estimate of a flat reading.
Key details: Orders for transportation equipment drove the decline in December. Orders for cars and planes fell 3.9% and have fallen in three of the last four months.
Excluding transportation, orders for durable goods rose 0.4% in December.
Shipments of durable goods rose 0.8% in December and have risen in seven of the last eight months.
Unfilled orders rose 0.5% in December and have risen for eleven straight months. Inventories rose 0.7%.
Big picture: Manufacturing has been strong with high demand even with bottlenecks. There was some sense that the omicron variant might be behind some of the weakness last month but actual evidence remains thin. Economists expect manufacturers to make progress with supply-chain issues over 2022.
Market snapshot: Stocks DJIA, +1.36% SPX, +1.30% were set to open mixed on Thursday after the tone of Fed Chair Jerome Powell remarks on Wednesday surprised investors .