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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Inventories Decumulate
by Tom Moeller  July 3, 2012

Inventories in the factory sector fell 0.2%, as they did in April. That lessened the y/y rate of inventory accumulation to 3.5%, down from its 13.6% rate one year ago. Lower rates of inventory accumulation occurred across industries. Unfilled orders were essentially unchanged for the third straight month. The y/y gain fell to 8.2% from its high of 10.3% during all of last year.

Orders in the manufacturing sector recovered 0.7% (3.0% y/y) during May and reversed the barely revised April decline. Expectations were for no change. Durable goods orders increased 1.3%, little changed from last week's advance report. Nondurable goods orders (which equal shipments) inched up just 0.2% (1.5% y/y), the gain held back by an unchanged reading (2.1% y/y) for petroleum refineries. Shipments of textile products rose 1.3% (6.4% y/y) while food products shipments increased 0.8% (-2.4% y/y). These gains were offset by 0.4% declines in apparel (+4.8% y/y), paper products (-1.4% y/y) and basic chemicals (-2.4% y/y). 

The factory sector figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The expectation figure is in AS1REPNA.

 

Factory Sector - NAICS Classification (%) May Apr Mar Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
New Orders 0.7 -0.7 -2.1 3.0 11.8 18.0 -23.1
Shipments 0.5 -0.2 0.1 4.9 11.8 11.2 -18.8
Inventories -0.2 -0.2 0.1 3.5 9.4 8.8 -6.8
Unfilled Orders -0.0 -0.1 0.0 8.2 10.3 9.6 -19.5
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