Factory orders grew just by just 1.1 per cent in December.Analysts expected orders to rise 1.5 per cent for that month after 1.8 per cent growth in November.
Even so, a lot of this miss could come from positive revisions to November data, in which orders actually grew by 2.2 per cent for the month. When those numbers were announced, they missed expectations.
On the other hand, it also could suggest that economic growth is slowing as we move into the first quarter, despite some incredibly positive employment data.
In fact, this development comes on the heels of a monster jobs report that suggests that even U.S. employment—a sore point for the recovery—has been improving despite concerns about recession in Europe and slowing growth in China.
From the press release:
New orders for manufactured goods in December, up two consecutive months, increased $5.3 billion or 1.1 per cent to $466.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 2.2 per cent November increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.6 per cent.
Shipments, up seven consecutive months, increased $3.4 billion or 0.7 per cent to $459.4 billion. This followed a 0.2 per cent November increase. Unfilled orders, up 20 of the last 20 one months, increased $12.7 billion or 1.4 per cent to $911.5 billion. This followed a 1.3 per cent November increase.
The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.00, down from 6.13 in November. Inventories, up 20 six of the last 20 seven months, increased $0.4 billion or 0.1 per cent to $610.1 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.4 per cent November increase. The inventories-toshipments ratio was 1.33, down from 1.34 in November.