New orders for manufactured goods in March, up following seven consecutive monthly decreases, increased $9.6 billion or 2.1 percent to $476.5 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This followed a 0.1 percent February decrease.
Shipments, up two consecutive months, increased $2.3 billion or 0.5 percent to $482.2 billion. This followed a 0.4 percent February increase.
Unfilled orders, up following three consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1 billion or 0.1 percent to $1,157.3 billion. This followed a 0.5 percent February decrease. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.67, down from 6.70 in February.
Inventories, down three of the last four months, decreased $1.1 billion or 0.2 percent to $649.1 billion. This followed a $0.2 billion, or virtually unchanged, February increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.35, unchanged from February.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in March, up two of the last three months, increased $10.2 billion or 4.4 percent to $241.2 billion, up from the previously published 4 percent increase. This followed a 1.4 percent February decrease.
Transportation equipment, also up two of the last three months, led the increase, $9.5 billion or 13.5 percent to $80.4 billion.
New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $0.6 billion or 0.3 percent to $235.3 billion.
By stage of fabrication, March materials and supplies increased 0.3 percent in durable goods and decreased 0.8 percent in nondurable goods. Work in process increased 0.1 percent in durable goods and decreased 1.1 percent in nondurable goods. Finished goods decreased 0.3 percent in durable goods and decreased 0.3 percent in nondurable goods.
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