Factory orders, or new orders for manufactured goods, increased $8.6 billion or 1.8% to $499.3 billion in December, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. New orders have been up for two of the last three months and beat the forecast for this month.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 0.5% to a high of 2.0%. The consensus forecast was 1.3%.
Durable Goods and Nondurable Goods
New orders for manufactured durable goods increased $5.9 billion or 2.4% to $245.6 billion in December, after being up two of the last three months. The gain follows a 3.1% decline in November.
Transportation equipment drove the increase rising $6.1 billion or 7.9% to $83.2 billion, after three straight monthly declines. drove the increase. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods rose $2.8 billion or 1.1% to $253.8 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods fell $0.5 billion or 0.2% to $250.3 billion in December, essentially unchanged after six consecutive months of declines.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods fell $0.6 billion to $1,156.2 billion in December, and have been down three of the last four months.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods rose $2.1 billion or 0.5% to $435.9 billion in December, after being up seventeen of the last eighteen months. That follows a 0.4% gain in November.