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.

About the Author

Steve Minter | Steve Minter, Executive Editor

Focus: Leadership, Global Economy, Energy

Call: 216-931-9281

Follow on Twitter: @SgMinterIW

An award-winning editor, Executive Editor Steve Minter covers leadership, global economic and trade issues and energy, tackling subject matter ranging from CEO profiles and leadership theories to economic trends and energy policy. As well, he supervises content development for editorial products including the magazine,, research and information products, and conferences.

Before joining the IW staff, Steve was publisher and editorial director of Penton Media’s EHS Today, where he was instrumental in the development of the Champions of Safety and America’s Safest Companies recognition programs.

Steve received his B.A. in English from Oberlin College. He is married and has two adult children.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!