The U.S. Census Bureau said factory orders slightly missed the forecast by gaining 1.2% in February, but they’ve now increased in 6 of the last 7 months. The $6.0 billion, or 1.2% increase to $498.0 billion erases almost all of the 1.3% decrease in January.
New orders for manufactured durable goods were solid again in February and have gained in 3 of the last 4 months. They increased $7.2 billion, or 3.0% this month to $247.3 billion, following a 3.6% decline in January. Transportation equipment, which is also up 3 of the last 4 months, led the way gaining $5.5 billion, or 7.0% to $83.5 billion.
New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $1.2 billion or 0.5% to $250.7 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in February, up nine of the last ten months, increased $2.2 billion, or 0.9% to $249.8 billion. That’s unchanged from the previous monthly estimate and follows a 0.5% increase in January.
Machinery, up 6 of the last 7 months, led the increase, $0.6 billion or 1.7% to $33.3 billion. Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods is down after 8 consecutive monthly increases, decreasing $1.2 billion or 0.5% to $250.7 billion. This followed a 1.0% increase in January. Petroleum and coal products was also down after 7 consecutive monthly increases, declining by $2.0 billion or 3.7% to $50.5 billion.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods have been up 5 of the last 6 months, and increased $1.9 billion or 0.2% to $1,142.8 billion in February. That’s unchanged from the previous estimate and follows a 0.3% decrease in January. Transportation equipment, up 2 of the last 3 months, led the increase, $1.4 billion or 0.2% to $773.3 billion.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods are up 19 of the last 20 months, increasing $1.8 billion or 0.4% to $410.8 billion. That’s unchanged from the previously published estimate and follows a 0.4% decrease in January.
Transportation equipment, which is up for 3 straight months, led the gain, rising $0.7 billion or 0.5% to $132.7 billion.
Inventories of manufactured nondurable goods have increased for 9 consecutive months, and gained $0.4 billion or 0.2% to $264.4 billion. The monthly increase follows a 0.4% gain in January.
Petroleum and coal products, up for 8 consecutive months, led the gain, increasing $0.2 billion or 0.5% to $42.8 billion. By stage of fabrication, February materials and supplies increased 0.6% in both durable goods and nondurable goods. Work in process rose 0.4% in durable goods and declined by 0.6% in nondurable goods.
Finished goods increased 0.4% in durable goods and for nondurable goods increased 0.2%.