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Factory Orders Declined, Shipments Rose in July

Factory orders for manufactured products declined 2.1% in July, after having risen for four consecutive months, while factory shipments increased 0.5%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Orders: Durable goods orders fell 5.2% in July, mostly due to declines in orders of aircraft and aircraft parts.

  • However … excluding transportation equipment, factory orders increased 0.8% in July, with durable goods up 0.5%.
  • Nondurable goods orders rose 1.1% in the same period.

A spending proxy rises: New orders for core capital goods—nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for capital spending in the U.S. economy—inched up 0.1% in July to $73.60 billion, just shy of the record high of $73.87 billion in May.

  • Year-over-year, core capital goods orders have increased 0.8%.

The long view: Orders for new manufactured goods have decreased 0.7% in the past year, with factory orders excluding transportation declining 2.5% year-over-year. 

Shipments: July marked the third consecutive month of increases for factory shipments.

  • But in the past 12 months, total factory shipments have declined 0.6%, or 2.3% year-over-year excluding transportation equipment.
  • Core capital goods shipments fell 0.3% in July, pulling back for the second month in a row from May’s record high of $74.05 billion.

In related news: Economic activity in the U.S. services sector continued to grow last month, with the ISM® Services PMI recording its eighth straight month of growth, the strongest pace since February, according to Markets Insider.

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