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Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Sector Orders Ease
by Tom Moeller  August 4, 2015

New orders in the manufacturing sector increased 1.8% during June (-6.2% y/y) following a 1.1% May decline. The rise roughly matched expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Durable goods orders rose 3.4% (-3.0% y/y) following 2.3% decline. These figures were unchanged from the advance release. A roughly two-thirds increase in nondefense aircraft bookings (11.2% y/y) powered the rise. Orders excluding the transportation sector altogether rose 0.5% (-6.2% y/y) after a 0.1% dip. Nondurable goods orders (which equal shipments) improved 0.4% (-8.0% y/y) following no change. Petroleum refinery shipments gained 1.7% (-28.4% y/y) after a 2.4% increase. Food products shipments eased (-0.9% y/y) for the sixth straight month. Apparel shipments gained 0.4% (0.3% y/y) following a 0.9% jump and paper product shipments fell 0.9% (-2.1% y/y) after a 1.1% decline. Basic chemical shipments improved 0.4% (-0.9% y/y) and reversed the May decline. Shipments of durable goods improved 0.5% (3.5% y/y) after they declined during four of the prior five months.

Unfilled orders remained unchanged (4.6% y/y), also following declines in four of the prior five months. Backlogs excluding the transportation sector eased 0.1% (0.6% y/y). Unfilled orders of nondefense aircraft rose 0.5% (11.3% y/y).

Inventories in the factory sector rose 0.6% (-0.1% y/y) following a 0.1% uptick. Durable goods inventories increased 0.6% (4.0% y/y). Computes & electronic product inventories gained 0.7% (4.7% y/y) following a 0.3% easing. Nondurable goods inventories gained 0.4% (-5.9% y/y) as petroleum refinery inventories rose 2.4% (-28.7% y/y). Food product inventories fell 0.4% (-1.5% y/y) and reversed May's rise. Apparel inventories rose 0.2% (13.7% y/y) after 1-to-2 percent increases in the prior two months. Paper product inventories gained 0.5% (2.4% y/y). Basic chemical inventories improved 0.1% (-2.8% y/y) following seven consecutive months of decline.

The factory sector figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is available in AS1REPNA.

Factory Sector- NAICS Classification (%) Jun May Apr Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
New Orders 1.8 -1.1 -0.7 -6.2 3.4 2.2 4.4
Shipments 0.5 -0.2 -0.0 -3.9 2.5 2.1 4.4
Unfilled Orders 0.0 -0.5 -0.2 4.6s 11.4 6.4 7.5
Inventories 0.6 0.1 0.2 -0.1 2.4 1.7 3.8
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