Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Factory Orders
New orders for manufactured goods slipped down 0.2 percent (nonannualized) in August, following a downwardly revised 2.1 percent gain in July. Still, the series has risen swiftly over the past year and is up 14.1 percent. While July’s increase was largely due to a bounce back in transportation orders, the overall trajectory was unaffected by swings in that sector, as new orders of transportation goods still fell 0.2 percent in August. Despite the headline decrease, nondefense capital goods (excluding aircraft) orders jumped up 2.9 percent in August, following an upwardly revised 0.2 percent gain in July. This should be a positive sign for Q3 equipment and software investment. Shipments of manufactured goods, which were revised down from a 1.6 percent gain in July to 1.2 percent, slipped down 0.2 percent in August, pulling its 3-month growth rate annualized growth rate down from 7.1 percent to 6.4 percent. The near-term growth rate in shipments is well below its 12-month percent change of 12.1 percent, which signals a softening trajectory (though one that is still robust relative to historical standards). Inventory accumulation continued in August, as manufacturers added 0.4 percent to their current stockpiles. However, the pace of accumulation has slowed over the past four months or so, compared to its average monthly increase over the prior 12 months of 1.1 percent. The months’ supply of inventories relative to shipments remained at 1.3 months in August, consistent with its levels from the beginning of 2010, where the series settled following a swift decline from its recent high during the last recession of nearly 1.5 months.