2011 Economic Calendar
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Factory Orders  
Released On 3/31/2011 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Factory Orders - M/M change3.1 %0.5 %-0.4 % to 1.0 %-0.1 %

Factory activity couldn't extend the robust pace of January and December, slipping back 0.1 percent for new orders and slowing to plus 0.3 percent for shipments. But inventories continued to build, up 0.8 percent, as did backlogs up 0.5 percent.

Today's report combines first-time data for non-durable goods in February together with upwardly revised data on the durables side. New orders for non-durable goods rose 0.3 percent reflecting a 1.5 percent boost in petroleum and coal in a gain that reflects cost pass through from supplier to customer. Durable orders, showing month-to-month weakness through a wide stretch of categories, were down 0.6 percent in the month which is less steep than the initially reported 0.9 percent decline. Like February, durable orders for January were also revised higher, up by one tenth to plus 3.7 percent.

It was this great factory strength in January, up 3.3 percent for total new orders in a two-tenths upward revision, that made for a tough comparison for February. Still, anecdotal data on February led by the ISM's manufacturing report pointed to increasing rates of growth in the month, not the dip ultimately reported. The ISM's report for March will be posted tomorrow.

Consensus Outlook
Factory orders jumped 3.1 percent in January with the gain centered in aircraft. The durables component gained a revised 0.3 percent while nondurables orders surged 3.1 percent. Gains for non-durables, specifically petroleum and coal, along with gains for metals largely reflected price effects. More recently, durables orders for February declined 0.9 percent.

Factory orders represent the dollar level of new orders for both durable and nondurable goods. This report gives more complete information than the advance durable goods report which is released one or two weeks earlier in the month.  Why Investors Care
Even though monthly shipment data fluctuate less than new orders, both series show underlying trends more clearly by looking at year-over-year changes. In 2005 for example,new orders rose more rapidly than shipments due to large gains in aircraft orders. Aircraft orders have a long lead to shipment.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/42/33/43/315/36/27/58/38/3110/411/312/5
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct

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