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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Orders Surge
by Tom Moeller  August 31, 2012

New orders in the manufacturing sector surged 2.8% during July following an unrevised 0.5% June fall. Expectations were for a 2.0% increase. Durable goods orders surged 4.1%, little revised from last week's advance report of a 4.2% rise. A 14.4% rise (16.5% y/y) in transportation sector bookings drove the increase. Less transportation, total factory orders rose 0.7% (-0.6% y/y). Nondurable goods orders (which equal shipments) rose 1.5% (-0.6% y/y). That was led by a 2.7% gain (-2.5% y/y) in petroleum shipments with higher prices. Shipments of textile products rose 0.7% (4.7% y/y), basic chemicals shipments recovered 1.7% (-3.3% y/y) and shipments of paper products increased 0.7% (-1.6% y/y). 

Inventories in the factory sector rose 0.5% during July, the first rise after three months of decline. Nevertheless, the 3.1% y/y rate of inventory accumulation was down from its 13.6% rate one year ago. Lower rates of accumulation occurred across industries. Unfilled orders rose 0.8% (8.0% y/y) but growth has weakened considerably this year.

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

 

Factory Sector- NAICS Classification Jul Jun May Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
New Orders 2.8 -0.5 0.5 1.9 11.8 18.0 -23.1
Shipments 2.0 -1.2 0.3 2.4 11.8 11.2 -18.8
Inventories 0.5 -0.1 -0.1 3.1 9.4 8.8 -6.8
Unfilled Orders 0.8 0.4 -0.0 8.0 10.3 9.6 -19.5
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