New Factory Orders Increase for First Time in Seven Months

New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.1 percent to $476.5 billion in March following a revised 0.1 percent decline in February according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The March increase in orders was the first after 7 consecutive months of decreases.

New orders for transportation equipment were strong, rising 13.5 percent to $80.4 billion, as defense aircraft and parts orders increased by 103 percent and nondefense aircraft and parts increased by 30.6 percent. New orders for manufactured durable goods were up by 4.4 percent to $241.2 billion

Shipments increased 0.5 percent to $482.2 billion after a 0.4 percent increase in February. Inventories decreased 0.2 percent to $649.1 billion, after remaining virtually flat in February. Unfilled orders increased by 0.1 percent to $1.157 trillion, following a 0.5 percent February decline.

The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.35, unchanged from February.