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On the radar: Boeing reported no new orders in April, net new orders for 2020 to-date -255

Boeing reported no new orders in April, a decrease of 31 from March. For 2020 to-date, the number of orders remained at 49 while the number of cancellations rose to 304. Net orders for 2020 so far are negative 255. Between the economic uncertainties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent plunge in air travel, and the loss of previous orders of 737 MAX aircraft, there is little chance that Boeing will see a positive year even with 8 months yet to run. There are no major airshows on the calendar for the remainder of the year. Airlines face grim prospects since many companies will decline to open up business travel again until the pandemic is definitively quelled and many individuals will be reluctant to risk exposure to disease in tight aircraft cabins. Airlines are simply not going to need the aircraft they have, much less new ones.

The advance report for new orders for durable goods in April is set for Thursday, May 28 at 8:30 ET. The only saving grace in the March data was demand for communications equipment and electronics as businesses and individuals beefed up their internet capabilities. There may be more of that in April, but otherwise orders will be minimal, especially for transportation where slumping sales of motor vehicles will add to the decline. Consumers have shut their wallets for all but essentials and businesses are not investing unless absolutely necessary to adapt to present conditions.

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