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Economy in Brief

Factory Inventories Up, Bottlenecks Are Few
by Tom Moeller August 4, 2004

Factory inventories jumped 0.7% in June following a like, upwardly revised gain in May. The gain was seventh successive month of accumulation.

Unfilled orders also rose, up a strong 0.6% and 8.2% y/y. The gain did not, however, represent much of a bottleneck problem. The ratio of unfilled orders to shipments rose versus the low of last March but remained well below the highs of 2001.

Factory orders rose 0.7% following an upwardly revised 0.4% May gain. Durable goods orders jumped 0.9% versus the advance report of a 0.7% rise.Non-durable goods orders (which equal shipments) rose 0.5% (12.7% y/y) after an upwardly revised 2.0% gain in May.

Factory shipments rose 0.7%. Excluding the transportation sector shipments rose 0.6% for the second consecutive month (12.7% y/y).

Factory Survey (NAICS) June May Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Inventories 0.7% 0.7% 2.3% -1.3% -1.8% -6.1%
New Orders 0.7% 0.4% 12.1% 3.7% -1.9% -6.7%
Shipments 0.7% 0.6% 11.7% 2.6% -2.0% -5.4%
Unfilled Orders 0.6% 0.6% 8.2% 4.2% -6.1% -5.9%
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