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Friday, August 2, 2019

June 2019 Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and New & Unfilled Orders

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of manufactured-goods shipments in June increased $1.9 billion or 0.4% to $506.2 billion. Durable goods shipments increased $3.2 billion or 1.3% to $257.7 billion led by transportation equipment. Meanwhile, nondurable goods shipments decreased $1.3 billion or 0.5% to $248.4 billion, led by petroleum and coal products. Shipments of both wood products and paper rose by +0.3%. 
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Inventories increased $1.3 billion or 0.2% to $695.6 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.37, down from 1.38 in May. Inventories of durable goods increased $1.4 billion or 0.3% to $426.0 billion, led by transportation equipment. Nondurable goods inventories decreased $0.1 billion or virtually unchanged to $269.6 billion, led by petroleum and coal products. Inventories of wood products were unchanged; paper: -0.2%. 
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New orders increased $3.1 billion or 0.6% to $493.8 billion. Excluding transportation, new orders inched up by 0.1% (-1.2% YoY). Durable goods orders increased $4.5 billion or 1.9% to $245.4 billion, led by transportation equipment. New orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft -- a proxy for business investment spending -- jumped by 1.5% (+0.1% YoY). New orders for nondurable goods decreased $1.3 billion or 0.5% to $248.4 billion.
As can be seen in the graph above, real (inflation-adjusted) new orders were essentially flat between early 2012 and mid-2014, recouping on average less than 70% of the losses incurred since the beginning of the Great Recession. The recovery in real new orders is back to just 49% of the ground given up in the Great Recession. 
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Unfilled durable-goods orders decreased $8.0 billion or 0.7% to $1,160.2 billion, led by transportation equipment. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.53, down from 6.62 in May. Real unfilled orders, which had been a good litmus test for sector growth, show a less positive picture; in real terms, unfilled orders in June 2014 were back to 97% of their December 2008 peak. Real unfilled orders then jumped to 102% of the prior peak in July 2014, thanks to the largest-ever batch of aircraft orders. Since then, however, real unfilled orders have been going sideways-to-down.
The foregoing comments represent the general economic views and analysis of Delphi Advisors, and are provided solely for the purpose of information, instruction and discourse. They do not constitute a solicitation or recommendation regarding any investment.

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