The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

New Orders for Manufactured Goods Down 10.1% in August

Drop follows two consecutive monthly increases and record high in July.

New orders for manufactured goods, down after two straight monthly increases, decreased $56.1 billion, or 10.1 percent, in August to $502 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This followed a 10.5 percent increase in July. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.1 percent in August.

Shipments, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $5 billion, or 1 percent, to $503.1 billion. This followed a 1.4 percent July increase.

Unfilled orders, up 16 of the last 17 months, increased $7 billion, or 0.6 percent, to $1,164.5 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 5.3 percent July increase. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.71, up from 6.62 in July.

Inventories, up 21 of the last 22 months, increased $0.8 billion, or 0.1 percent, to $653.9 billion. This was also at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis and followed a slight July increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.30, up from 1.29 in July.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in August, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $55.1 billion, or 18.4 percent, to $244.8 billion, revised from the previously published 18.2 percent decrease. This followed a 22.5 percent July increase. Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $55.8 billion, or 42.2 percent, to $76.5 billion.

New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $1 billion, or 0.4 percent, to $257.2 billion.

By stage of fabrication, August materials and supplies increased 0.1 percent in durable goods and decreased 0.7 percent in nondurable goods. Work in process increased 0.7 percent in durable goods and 0.6 percent in nondurable goods. Finished goods increased 0.4 percent in durable goods and decreased 0.5 percent in nondurable goods.

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