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New Orders for Manufactured Goods Down 1.5% in December

New orders for manufactured goods in December, down two of the last three months, decreased $7.2 billion or 1.5 percent to $489.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. This followed a 1.5 percent November increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2 percent.

Shipments, down following five consecutive monthly increases, decreased $1.2 billion or 0.2 percent to $492.7 billion. This followed a 0.8 percent November increase.

Unfilled orders, up ten of the last eleven months, increased $3.9 billion or 0.4 percent to $1.1 trillion. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.9 percent November increase. The unfilled orders-to shipments ratio was 6.53, up from 6.44 in November.

Inventories, up twelve of the last thirteen months, increased $2.9 billion or 0.5 percent to $636.6 billion. This was also at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis and followed a 0.1 percent November increase. The inventories-to shipments ratio was 1.29, up from 1.28 in November.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in December, down two of the last three months, decreased $10.0 billion or 4.2 percent to $230.0 billion, revised from the previously published 4.3 percent decrease. This followed a 2.7 percent November increase. Transportation equipment, also down two of the last three months, led the decrease, down $7.9 billion or 9.7 percent to $73.1 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased $2.8 billion or 1.1 percent to $259.2 billion.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in December, down following four consecutive monthly increases, decreased $4.0 billion or 1.7 percent to $233.5 billion, revised from the previously published 1.9 percent decrease. This followed a 1.4 percent November increase.

Transportation equipment, also down following four consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, down $4.0 billion or 5.5 percent to $68.5 billion. Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods, up two consecutive months, increased $2.8 billion or 1.1 percent to $259.2 billion. This followed a 0.4 percent November increase.

Petroleum and coal products, also up two consecutive months, led the increase, up $2.0 billion or 2.7 percent to $73.8 billion.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in December, up ten of the last eleven months, increased $3.9 billion or 0.4 percent to $1.1 trillion, unchanged from the previously published increase. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis and followed a 0.9 percent November increase.

Transportation equipment, up four consecutive months, drove the increase, up $4.6 billion or 0.7 percent to $659.1 billion.

Inventories of manufactured durable goods in December, up eight of the last nine months, increased $3.2 billion or 0.8 percent to $387.9 billion, unchanged from the previously published increase. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis and followed a 0.3 percent November increase.

Transportation equipment, up nineteen of the last twenty months, led the increase, up $1.3 billion or 1.0 percent to $122.0 billion. Inventories of manufactured nondurable goods, down four consecutive months, decreased $0.3 billion or 0.1 percent to $248.7 billion. This followed a 0.3 percent November decrease.

Food products, down six consecutive months, drove the decrease, down $0.5 billion or 1.2 percent to $46.4 billion.

By stage of fabrication, December materials and supplies increased 0.4 percent in durable goods and 0.4 percent in nondurable goods. Work in process increased 1.3 percent in durable goods and 0.5 percent in nondurable goods. Finished goods increased 0.8 percent in durable goods and decreased 0.7 percent in nondurable goods.

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