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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Inventories Again Firm
by Tom Moeller August 31, 2006

Factory inventories rose 0.6% last month after a revised 0.9% June jump. The 8.1% annual rate of accumulation through July is double the rate of accumulation during all of last year.

Primary metals inventories again were firm and rose 1.4% (8.6% y/y) while inventories of computers & electronic products jumped 1.3% (8.2% y/y). Inventories of electrical equipment surged 1.2% (10.2% y/y) and machinery inventories recovered 0.5% (4.4% y/y) after a slight June decline.

Total factory orders slipped 0.6% after two months of sharp increase. Durable goods orders fell 2.5%, a decline that was little revised from the advance report of a 2.4% drop. Factory orders less transportation rose 1.1% (10.3% y/y).

Factory shipments were unchanged but less transportation rose a sharp 1.1% (9.0% y/y). Petroleum shipments surged 3.6% (18.7% y/y). Factory shipments less transportation & petroleum rose a strong 0.8% (7.9% y/y).

Unfilled orders jumped again, by 1.3% last month and less the transportation sector altogether backlogs were also strong and surged 1.7% (16.0% y/y).

Factory Survey (NAICS) July June Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Inventories 0.6% 0.9% 5.7% 4.0% 6.9% -7.4%
New Orders -0.6% 1.5% 8.4% 8.5% 7.5% 0.9%
Shipments 0.0% -0.1% 7.5% 7.1% 6.8% 0.2%
Unfilled Orders 1.3% 1.7% 20.0% 16.3% 4.5% -1.0%
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