Factory Orders Show Slowing Growth

New orders for Manufactured Goods slumped off a hot-streak of five consecutive months of growth. This morning the U.S. Census Bureau released its full report on manufacturing orders, inventories, and shipments for the month of April 2011. Here are the details:

New Orders. The leading indicator of the bunch, new manufacturing orders, was down 1.2% on the month falling below wall street expectations of -0.9 %. This drop in April comes on the heels of a 3.8% increase in the month of March. New orders for manufactured durable goods were down 3.6% in April after a 4.6% increase in the prior month with the largest decrease coming in transportation equipment, which was down $4.8 billion or 9.3 percent to $46.9 billion. New orders for manufactured non-durables increased by .6%.

Other important info from the report:

Shipments. Shipments were down for the first time in seven months, dropping -.2% in Aprtil to $445 billion. Shipments of manufactured durable goods were down 1.3% ($2.5 billion) following a 3.1% March increase.

Unfilled Orders. Unfilled orders increased for the 12th time in the last thirteen months, and were up .3% in April following a .7% rise in March, now total $850.7 billion.

Inventories. Inventory growth increased, but at a slower rate than prior months. April saw a .9% increase in inventories of manufactured durable goods compared to a 1.7% increase in March.

Factory Orders Definition: The Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) survey provides statistics on manufacturers’ value of shipments, new orders (net of cancellations), end-of-month order backlog (unfilled orders), end-of-month total inventory (at current cost or market value), and inventories by stage of fabrication (materials and supplies, work-inprocess, and finished goods).