Durable Goods Weigh Down Factory Orders After 5 Consecutive Monthly Gains

A 787 Dreamliner being built for Air India is pictured at South Carolina Boeing final assembly building in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: Reuters)

A 787 Dreamliner being built for Air India is pictured at South Carolina Boeing final assembly building in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: Reuters)

Factory orders, as measured by new orders for manufactured goods, fell 1.4% to $497.7 billion in January. The $6.9 billion decline follows 5 consecutive monthly gains, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

This followed a 1.8% December increase.

Shipments, which have been up for 13 of the last 14 months, continued to increase by $2.8 billion, or 0.6% to $498.8 billion following a 0.7% December increase. Unfilled orders, down following four consecutive monthly increases, decreased $2.9 billion or 0.3% to $1,141.2 billion following a 0.6% December increase.

The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.54, down from 6.58 in December. Inventories, up 14 of the last 15 months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.3% to $672.4 billion following a 0.7% December increase.

The inventories-to shipments ratio was 1.35, unchanged from December.

New Orders

New orders for manufactured durable goods in January, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $9.0 billion or 3.6% to $240.0 billion, up from the previously published 3.7% decrease. This followed a 2.7% December increase. Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, led the decrease, $8.6 billion or 10.0 percent to $77.9 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased $2.1 billion or 0.8 percent to $251.7 billion.

Shipments

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in January, up eight of the last nine months, increased $0.7 billion or 0.3% to $247.1 billion, up from the previously published 0.2 percent increase. This followed a 0.5% December increase. Transportation equipment, up two of the last three months, led the increase, $0.6 billion or 0.7% to $81.5 billion. Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods, up nine of the last ten months, increased $2.1 billion or 0.8% to $251.7 billion. This followed a 0.9% December increase. Petroleum and coal products, up seven consecutive months, led the increase, $1.8 billion or 3.5% to $52.5 billion.

Unfilled Orders

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in January, down following four consecutive monthly increases, decreased $2.9 billion or 0.3% to $1,141.2 billion, unchanged from the previously published decrease. This followed a 0.6 percent December increase. Transportation equipment, down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $3.6 billion or 0.5% to $771.9 billion.

Inventories

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in January, up eighteen of the last nineteen months, increased $1.3 billion or 0.3% to $408.8 billion, unchanged from the previously published increase. This followed a 0.5% December increase. Transportation equipment, up two consecutive months, led the increase, $0.7 billion or 0.6% to $131.9 billion.

Inventories of manufactured nondurable goods, up eight consecutive months, increased $0.7 billion or 0.3% to $263.6 billion. This followed a 0.9% December increase. Petroleum and coal products, up seven consecutive months, drove the increase, $0.7 billion or 1.7% to $42.4 billion. By stage of fabrication, January materials and supplies increased 0.4 percent in durable goods and decreased 0.1% in nondurable goods.

Work in process increased 0.5% in durable goods and was virtually unchanged in nondurable goods. Finished goods were virtually unchanged in durable goods and increased 0.7 percent in nondurable goods.

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PPD Business Staff :PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.