March 25, 2019

New Orders For Manufactured Goods Largely Flat In United States


  • The U.S. Department of Commerce announced last week that new orders for manufactured goods rose 0.1 percent in January 2019 to $500.5 billion while shipments fell $1.8 billion, or 0.4 percent. The number of unfilled orders increased 0.1 percent to $1.182 trillion. Inventories also rose, increasing $3.6 billion, or 0.5 percent, to $685.7 billion.
  • S. sales from merchant wholesalers, excluding manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, rose 0.5 percent from December 2018 to January 2019 and 2.7 percent from January 2018 to January 2019. Inventories rose 1.2 percent from the month and 7.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Wholesale sales in Canada rose 0.6 percent to $63.5 billion in January, the second gain in as many months. Sales in the machinery, equipment, and supplies subsector rose 1.9 percent to $13.3 billion while sales in the motor vehicle and parts subsector fell 2.1 percent to $10.6 billion.
  • The number of individuals in the United States who obtained federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 221,000 for the week that ended March 16, down from 230,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose slightly. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits fell to 1.75 million for the week that ended March 9, down from 1.777 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose, however.
  • In other economic news: the Conference Board’s leading economic index, a gauge of future economic growth, increased 0.2 percent in February to 111.5 following no change in January and a 0.1 percent decline in December; the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced the manufacturing sector in its region is growing again; and the number of existing homes sold in the United States increased 11.8 percent from January 2019 to February 2019, but fell 1.8 percent from February 2018 to February 2019.