Factory orders and shipments fell 1.6% in January after rising 1.7% in December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
What’s going on: Orders for durable goods declined 4.5% in January, down from a 5.1% increase in December, owing largely to volatility in nondefense aircraft and parts orders.
- Excluding transportation equipment, new orders of durable goods rose 0.8% in January, and orders for nondurable goods jumped 1.5%.
- Overall, new factory orders excluding transportation increased 1.2%.
Core capital goods: New orders for core capital goods—or nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—increased rose 0.8%, to $75.376 billion. Core capital goods are a proxy for capital spending in the U.S. economy.
- Orders for core capital goods have risen 4.4% year-over-year.
Factory shipments: Factory shipments jumped 0.7% after declining in both November and December.
- Excluding transportation equipment, shipments of manufactured goods rose 1.2% for the month.
- Total factory shipments rose 6.2% in the past year, or 4.7%, excluding transportation equipment.
However … Shipments have dipped 0.4% since June, a decrease of 2.0%, excluding transportation equipment.
The last word: “These data provide mixed degrees of comfort,” NAM Chef Economist Chad Moutray said. “On the one hand, outside of nondefense aircraft and parts, there were decent rebounds in demand in most manufacturing sectors in January. Yet it is also clear that manufacturing activity has stalled since the summer.”
- “While new factory orders have increased 4.3% over the past 12 months, sales have fallen by 2.1% since June.”