With most pundits expecting a weak Durable Goods report today from the month of October, it was only logical that the final print would come better than expected. Sure enough, the October headline durable goods printed at 0.0%, on expectations of a -0.7% decline from a downward revised September 9.2%. It was in the non-volatile Ex-Transportation index that saw a pick up of 1.5%, missing modestly the expectations of a 2.0% print, and down from 1.7% last month. From an investment standpoint, Capital Goods Orders nondefense ex-aircraft rose 1.7% on expectations of a drop to -0.5%, up from a downward revised -0.4%. One wonders just what seasonal adjustment factors were used in this particular data set which saw the NSA data drop from $63.1 billion last month to $61.8 billion currently. Needless to say, inventories of manufactured durable goods, having increased 33 of the past 34 month, just hit an all time high of $374.4 billion, rising 0.4% in the month, following a 0.2% increase in the month ago.
That said, we eagerly await the confidence pundits to blame today's better than expected durable goods data on Sandy, the same way every other data series which has come in weaker than expected in the past months has been "explained away." We may be waiting for a while.