Recent Updates

  • Thailand: Agricultural Price Index, Rice Exports Quantity (Apr); Korea: International Investment Position, External Debt (Q1)
  • Japan: Financial Institutions Accounts (Mar)
  • New Zealand: International Trade (Apr), Australia: Job Vacancy Report (Apr), Construction Work Done (Q1)
  • US: New Residential Sales (Apr)
  • Flash PMI - Japan, Germany, France, Euro Area, US (May)
  • Spain: International Trade Summary and by End Use (Mar), Automobile
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Factory Sector Activity Deteriorates
by Tom Moeller  April 4, 2016

New orders in the manufacturing sector declined 1.7% during February (+0.1% y/y) and reversed the prior month's 1.2% increase. The decline reflected a little-revised 3.0% drop in durable goods orders. These orders were pulled lower by a 6.2% decline in transportation sector bookings as well a 3.6% drop in orders for electrical equipment. Nondurable goods orders (which equal shipments), eased 0.4% (-7.4% y/y), the eight decline in as many months. A 2.1% decline in orders to petroleum refineries led the decline as prices fell. Textile product orders also were off 1.1% (+5.3% y/y) while basic chemical orders remained little changed (+4.4% y/y). Shipments of durable goods declined 1.0% as machinery orders were off 3.1% (-0.6% y/y), but orders for computers & electronic products increased 1.1% (8.4% y/y).

Unfilled orders in the factory sector eased 0.3% (-1.6% y/y) after a 0.1% up tick. Unfilled orders of transportation equipment fell 0.6% (-1.7% y/y). Excluding the transportation sector, order backlogs gained 0.2% (-1.3% y/y) led by a 1.3% jump (-0.2% y/y) in electrical equipment, appliances & components.

Inventories in the factory sector fell 0.4% (-2.5% y/y). Nondurable goods inventories declined 0.5% (-3.8% y/y), led lower by a 5.5% decline (-28.6% y/y) in the value of petroleum inventories. The value of basic chemical inventories was little-changed (-0.8% y/y) and apparel inventories increased 0.6% (10.8% y/y). Durable goods inventories eased -0.3% (-1.7% y/y), and have been falling steadily for nearly a year.

The factory sector figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is available in AS1REPNA.

Factory Sector- NAICS Classification (%) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
New Orders -1.7 1.2 -2.9 0.1 -6.6 3.5 2.0
Shipments -0.7 -0.2 -1.4 -0.1 -4.3 2.6 1.9
Unfilled Orders -0.3 0.1 -0.5 -1.6 -1.9 11.5 6.5
Inventories -0.4 -0.5 -0.2 -2.5 -1.9 2.4 1.7
close
large image