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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Orders Increase Sharply
by Tom Moeller  April 2, 2013

Orders to all manufacturers increased an expected 3.0% (2.7% y/y) during February, following a 1.0% January decline, revised from -2.0%. A 5.6% rebound (3.9% y/y) in durable goods bookings, little-revised from the advance report, led the overall surge in orders. It reflected a doubling in orders for commercial aircraft & parts as well as a 3.3% gain (4.4% y/y) in electrical equipment & appliance orders. Shipments of durable goods rose 1.0% (4.8% y/y) helped higher by a 2.5% rise (10.1% y/y) in machinery.

Nondurable goods orders, which equal shipments, rose 0.8% (1.8% y/y) and added to the 1.4% January increase. Shipments from petroleum refineries rose 3.3% (3.6% y/y) as prices improved. The value of apparel shipments rose 1.8% (3.1% y/y) and shipments of paper products ticked up 0.2% (-1.4% y/y).   Shipments of chemicals slipped 0.3% (-3.5% y/y).

Inventories in the factory sector increased a moderate 0.2% in February (2.2% y/y) after a 0.6% January rise. Apparel inventories rose 2.6% (12.4% y/y) while chemical inventories increased 1.2% (1.3% y/y). In the durable goods sector inventories gained 0.5% (4.3% y/y). A 1.6% rise (11.1% y/y) in transportation sector inventories was countered by a 0.3% slip in machinery. Order backlogs jumped 0.9% (+1.4% y/y) with the sharp increase in orders and just a moderate rise in shipments.

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

 

Factory Sector- NAICS Classification Feb Jan Dec Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
New Orders 3.0 -1.0 1.3 2.7 2.7 11.8 18.0
Shipments 0.9 0.4 -0.0 3.2 4.1 11.8 11.2
Inventories 0.2 0.6 0.0 2.2 2.4 9.4 8.8
Unfilled Orders 0.9 -0.0 0.7 1.4 2.2 10.3 9.6
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