US durable goods orders fell back sharply in April. After a 4.4% M/M increase in March, the durables dropped by 3.6% M/M in April, while the consensus was looking for a more moderate decline. The previous outcome was sharply upwardly revised (from 2.5% M/M to 4.4% M/M), underlining the volatility of the data. Weakness was led by transportation (-9.5% M/M) due to a significant decline in orders for vehicles and parts (-4.5% M/M), but even more to a plunge in nondefense aircraft (-30.0% M/M). But also excluding transportation, the durables fell by 1.5% M/M, while an increase by 0.5% M/M was expected. Orders for electrical equipment (-4.9% M/M), machinery (-3.4% M/M), primary metals (-1.6% M/M) and fabricated metals (-1.6% M/M) all fell in April, while only computers & electronics orders increased (by 0.7% M/M). Shipments of non-defence capital goods excluding aircraft, which is an important indicator for GDP growth, fell by 1.7% M/M, after a 3.7% M/M increase in March. This is another disappointing report from the US, providing further evidence that the US manufacturing sector is losing some steam, partly due to the supply disruptions after the earthquake in Japan.