The value of computer products ordered last month rose 3.9% compared with August's totals, the Commerce Department reported last week. But actual computer shipments in the third quarter fell 5.8%.
Unlike previous years, orders for IT products haven't outpaced those for all durable goods. For the 12 months ended in September, orders for computers and related products rose by 10.1%, 2 percentage points lower than all durable-goods orders. Yet, in another example of a mixed message, computer shipments for the past year increased by 11.4%, a half-percentage-point better than shipments for all types of durable goods.