USA factory orders slipped in April, investment weak

Judith Bessette
Junho 6, 2017

Washington, DC, June 5, 2017-New orders for manufactured goods in April, down following four consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.8 billion or 0.2% to $469.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

However, the orders figure for March were upwardly revised, making the April report slightly better than anticipated. Orders in this closely watched category had been flat in March.

Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the US economy, is being supported by a recovery in the energy sector that has led to demand for oil and gas drilling equipment.

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Monday's report from the Commerce Department also showed orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft - seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans - edging up 0.1 percent instead of being unchanged as reported last month. Orders for primary metals fell 0.7 percent, with demand for iron and steel down 2 percent. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased $1.0 billion or 0.4% to $238.0 billion. Motor vehicle orders rose 0.6 percent after falling 1.4 percent in March. This followed a 0.3% March increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.38, unchanged from March.

Inventories of manufactured goods inched up by 0.1% in April after rising by 0.2% in the previous month.

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