This morning’s factory order data confirms what we have seen in the recent ISM reports – slowing economic activity in leading indicators. New orders have now fallen in 3 of the last 4 months (via the U.S. Census):
“New orders for manufactured goods in August, down three of the last four months, decreased $2.2 billion or 0.5 percent to $408.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 0.5 percent July increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.9 percent. Shipments, also down three of the last four months, decreased $2.5 billion or 0.6 percent to $415.1 billion. This followed a 1.2 percent July increase. Unfilled orders, down following four consecutive monthly increases, decreased $0.1 billion to $804.0 billion. This followed a slight July increase. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 5.59, up from 5.53 in July. Inventories, up seven of the last eight months, increased $0.7 billion or 0.1 percent to $526.4 billion. This followed a 0.9 percent July increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.27, up from 1.26 in July.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in August, down three of the last four months, decreased $2.8 billion or 1.5 percent to $191.9 billion, revised from the previously published 1.3 percent decrease. This followed a 1.2 percent July increase. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, had the largest decrease, $5.3 billion or 10.2 percent to $46.6 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased $0.7 billion or 0.3 percent to $217.1 billion.”
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.