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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Inventory Accumulation Strong
by Tom Moeller August 3, 2006

Factory inventories rose 0.8% during June for the fifth month of firm accumulation this year. Year to date inventories have risen at a 7.8% annual rate, nearly double the rate of accumulation during all of last year.

Primary metals inventories rose 0.8% (6.2% y/y) and have been rising at a 17.2% annual rate so far this year. Inventories of computers & electronic products rose 0.4% (8.4% y/y) and the year to date annual rate of accumulation has been 9.2%. Inventories of electrical equipment jumped 2.2% (9.3% y/y) but machinery inventories ticked up just 0.1% (5.7% y/y).

Total factory orders surged 1.2%. Durable goods orders jumped 2.9% that was little revised from the advance report of a 3.1% gain. Factory orders less transportation rose just 0.1% (7.8% y/y) due to a 0.7% drop in nondurables.

Factory shipments fell 0.3%. Less transportation shipments also fell 0.2% (8.0% y/y). Petroleum shipments fell 0.2% (+20.9% y/y) and factory shipments less transportation & petroleum slipped 0.2% (+6.7% y/y).

Unfilled orders increased another 1.6% but less the transportation sector altogether backlogs still rose a strong 1.4% (14.2% y/y).

Factory Survey (NAICS) June May Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Inventories 0.8% 0.7% 5.5% 4.0% 6.9% -7.4%
New Orders 1.2% 1.0% 6.0% 8.5% 7.5% 0.9%
Shipments -0.3% 2.5% 7.5% 7.1% 6.8% 0.2%
Unfilled Orders 1.6% 0.7% 19.3% 16.3% 4.5% -1.0%
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