Economic Watch: Factory Shipments and Orders Increase in May

July 2, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Shipments and new orders for manufactured goods in the United States both headed higher in May, according to a new U.S. Commerce Department report, easing earlier fears this important sector to trucking and the economy might be in for tougher times.

Shipments increased 1% from April to $483.6 billion, following two consecutive monthly declines. Included in this are shipments of manufactured durable goods, posting a 1.3% hike in May, up three of the last four months.

New orders for factory goods jumped 2.1% in May to $485 billion, the third increase out of the last four months. Included in this is a 3.7% increase in new orders for manufactured durable goods, also the third hike out of the last four months.

New orders for transportation equipment led this increase, with it spiking 10.9% in May from the month before. When the volatile transportation sector is removed from overall new factory orders, it posted a healthy 0.6% increase.

There have been concerns lately that manufacturing in the U.S. might be slowing, but this report, as well as one released Monday by the Institute of Supply management about June, show activity has picked back up.

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