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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Inventories Up Again
by Tom Moeller March 31, 2005

Factory inventories added 0.5% in February to the prior month's 1.5% spurt. Less petroleum inventories which fell 0.4% (16.7% y/y) the total increased 0.6% (8.3% y/y).

Factory shipments fell 0.9% in part reflecting a 2.9% drop in transportation equipment (-5.1% y/y). Less transportation shipments fell 0.6% (+13.3% y/y).

Orders to the factory sector rose 0.2%. The advance report of a 0.3% rise in durable goods was revised to 0.5% (+7.8% y/y). Nondefense capital goods orders less aircraft fell 1.7% (14.2% y/y).

Unfilled orders jumped 0.6%. The ratio of unfilled orders to shipments for durables recovered most of the prior two months' declines.

Factory Survey (NAICS) Feb Jan Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Inventories 0.5% 1.5% 8.6% 7.5% -1.3% -1.8%
New Orders 0.2% -0.0% 10.0% 10.9% 3.7% -1.9%
Shipments -0.9% 1.1% 10.4% 10.5% 2.6% -2.0%
Unfilled Orders 0.6% -0.0% 8.8% 9.1% 4.2% -6.1%
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