New Factory Orders Up in July

Aug. 31, 2012
Increase in new orders for manufactured goods beats analyst expectations.

New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.8% in July, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today, a rise of $12.9 billion to $478.6 billion. The increase handily beat the prediction by economists in a Reuters poll that manufacturing orders would rise 1.9%.

The U.S. manufacturing report showed continued strength in the sector despite rising concerns about the impact of economic slowdowns in Europe and China

The transportation equipment industry led the surge with a 14.4% increase in orders for July to $80.6 billion. Excluding transportation, new orders were up 0.7%.

Primary metals also had a strong performance, noted Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers in NAM's Shopfloor blog, as the sector was up 2.9%. "Most of the other major sub-industries were lower, including machinery (down 4.1%), electrical equipment and appliances (down 2.2%), fabricated metal products (down 0.8%), furniture and related products (down 0.4%), and computers and electronic products (down 0.2%)," he observed.

The increase came after a 0.5% dip in June.

Overall, new orders for durable goods increased $9.2 billion or 4.1% to $230.5 billion, after increasing 1.6% in June.

New orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased $3.7 billion, a rise of 1.5% to  $248.1 billion.

Shipments of manufactured goods also increased in July, a $9.5 billion or 2% rise to $478.8 billion.

Unfilled orders increased for the third consecutive month to $996.6 billion, a 0.8% rise.

Inventories were also higher, rising $3.1 billion or 0.5% to $607.3 billion.

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