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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Inventory Decline Is Limited
by Tom Moeller August 03, 2010

For the second consecutive month factory inventories fell modestly. The June 0.1% decline was not, however, broad-based. In fact, the decline was limited to petroleum and chemicals where prices fell. Inventories at petroleum refineries dropped 9.3% (+7.0% y/y) after a like decline during May. Chemical inventories slipped 0.6% (-0.4% y/y). Showing accumulation during the last six months were inventories of electrical equipment & appliances (-1.3% y/y), computers and electronic products (1.8 y/y), furniture (-2.2 y/y) and apparel (-3.2% y/y).

Factory shipments also fell by 0.8% for the second month of decline. Here, declines were more broad-based. Primary metal shipments fell 1.8% (+48.0% y/y), computer & electronics were off 3.9% (+13.0% y/y) and apparel shipments fell 1.8% (+2.0% y/y). Going the other way were shipments of transportation equipment with a 2.9% rise (6.1% y/y), recovering a May decline. Also rising were shipments of electrical equipment (7.5% y/y) and furniture (3.3% y/y).

The Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders (MSIO) data are available in Haver's USECON database. The latest figures reflect benchmark revisions back to 2007.

Factory Survey (NAICS, %) June May April Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Inventories -0.1 -0.4 0.6 0.5 -8.8 -0.8 7.6
New Orders -1.2 -1.8 1.0 11.3 -17.8 -1.0 8.7
Shipments -0.8 -1.8 0.6 9.1 -15.6 2.3 6.4
Unfilled Orders -0.0 0.3 0.4 -2.2 -11.1 2.8 31.2
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