Shipments, Inventories and Orders Down 4.7 Percent

New orders for manufactured goods in October, down three of the last four months, decreased $19.3 billion or 4.7 percent to $390.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

This was the largest decrease since July of 2000 and followed a 1.7 percent September increase. Shipments, up two of the last three months, increased $0.4 billion or 0.1 percent to $389.9 billion. This followed a 4.2 percent September decrease.

Unfilled orders, up seventeen of the last eighteen months, increased $8.2 billion or 1.2 percent to $666.5 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first stated on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 4.1 percent September increase. The unfilled orders-to shipments ratio was 4.56, up from 4.46 in September.

Inventories, up twelve of the last thirteen months, increased $1.8 billion or 0.4 percent to $481.1 billion. This followed a 0.6 percent September increase. The inventories-to shipments ratio was 1.23, unchanged from September.

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