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Economic Watch: Manufacturing Shipments, New Orders Drop

February 3, 2015

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A full report on activity at U.S. factories in December shows drops in both shipments and new orders, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Shipments of manufactured items declined for the fourth out of the last five months, falling 1.1% from November.

On the upside, shipments of manufactured durable goods in December, up following two consecutive monthly declines, increased 1.3%, revised from the previously published 1.1% increase. This follows a 0.7% November decrease. Transportation equipment, up three of the last four months, led the increase, adding 3.7%.

New orders for manufactured goods in December, down five consecutive months, decreased another 3.4% from November. This is the biggest drop since August and follows a 1.7% November decline from October. Excluding transportation, new orders fell 2.3% in December, the biggest drop since March 2013.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in December, down four of the last five months, decreased 3.3% from November, revised from the previously published 3.4% decline. This follows a 2.2% November decrease from October. Transportation equipment, also down four of the last five months, led the drop, falling 9.1%

Various analysts described the declines as “broad based” saying this shows new factory orders are shirking after so many monthly drops and the falloff was more than was expected.

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