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U.S. Factory Orders Fall 1.0% In January, Less Than Expected

U.S. Factory Orders Fall 1.0% In January, Less Than Expected
3/5/2012 10:27 AM ET

New orders for U.S. manufactured goods decreased in January following two consecutive monthly increases, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Monday, although orders fell by less than anticipated.

The report showed that factory orders fell by 1.0 percent in January compared to a revised 1.4 percent increase in December. Economists had expected orders to drop by about 1.6 percent compared to the 1.1 percent increase that had been reported for the previous month.

The decrease in factory orders was largely due to a 3.7 percent drop in orders for durable goods, which was revised from the previously published 4.0 percent decrease.

However, an increase in orders for non-durable goods helped to limit the downside, with non-durable goods orders climbing by 1.3 percent in January.

Excluding a 5.7 percent drop in orders for transportation equipment, factory orders edged down by just 0.3 percent in January compared to a 0.7 percent increase in December.

The report also showed that shipments of manufactured goods rose for the eighth consecutive month, rising by 0.9 percent in January following a 0.8 percent increase in the previous month.

Inventories of manufactured goods, which have increased in twenty-seven of the last twenty-eight months rose by 0.6 percent in January after edging up by 0.2 percent in December.

With inventories and shipments both rising during the month, the inventories-to-shipments ratio came in at 1.33 in January, unchanged from December.

by RTT Staff Writer

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