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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Orders Plunge With Durables
by Tom Moeller  October 4, 2012

Factory sector new orders collapsed 5.2% during August following an upwardly revised 2.6% July gain. Expectations were for a 5.0% drop according to Bloomberg. Durable goods orders fell an unrevised 13.2%, due to cancelled aircraft bookings. Excluding transportation, total factory orders rose 0.7% (0.3% y/y). Nondurable goods orders (which equal shipments) jumped 2.2% (1.2% y/y). That was led by a 7.2% rise (6.3% y/y) in petroleum shipments with higher prices. Shipments of textile products gained 1.8% (6.5% y/y), basic chemicals shipments rose 0.5% (-3.5% y/y) but shipments of apparel fell 0.2% (+3.8% y/y). 

Inventories in the factory sector again rose 0.6% during August. However, the 3.4% 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 fell 1.7% (+5.4% y/y) with the drop in new orders.

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

Housing Rebounds, but Forward-Looking Indicators Cause Concern from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.


Factory Sector- NAICS Classification Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
New Orders -5.2 2.6 -0.5 -2.5 11.8 18.0 -23.1
Shipments -0.3 1.9 -1.2 2.6 11.8 11.2 -18.8
Inventories 0.6 0.6 -0.1 3.4 9.4 8.8 -6.8
Unfilled Orders -1.7 0.7 0.4 5.4 10.3 9.6 -19.5
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