2017 Economic Calendar
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Factory Orders  
Released On 2/3/2017 10:00:00 AM For Dec, 2016
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Factory Orders - M/M change-2.4 %-2.3 %0.9 %-0.2 % to 3.8 %1.3 %

Price effects for petroleum and coal gave a deceptive lift to factory orders in December which rose 1.3 percent. A 3.1 percent jump in nondurable orders, reflecting higher energy prices, masks a 0.5 percent decline in durable orders.

Yet the drop in durables itself reflects an anomaly, that is a swing lower in defense aircraft. A clear plus in December is strength in capital goods data where the core reading (nondefense ex-aircraft) rose 0.7 percent following gains of 1.7 percent and 0.5 percent in the prior two months. These readings point to rising business investment for 2017.

Apart from new orders, shipments surged 2.2 percent in the month in part reflecting a gain for civilian aircraft where monthly readings are always bumpy. Inventories growth was contained to only 0.1 percent in the month, which is a positive for future production, while unfilled orders, however, sank for a second month, down a sharp a 0.6 percent which is of course a negative for future production and also future employment growth.

This is always a very volatile report with large components often making large month-to-month swings. But behind the noise is a factory sector that is still struggling but, driven by new business investment, may be showing emerging signs of momentum going into the new year.

Consensus Outlook
Factory orders are expected to rise 0.9 percent as price-related gains for nondurable goods are expected to offset a 0.4 percent decline in the just released durables component of the report. Much of the weakness in the durables headline was tied to a monthly reversal in defense aircraft which masked solid improvement in other parts of the report especially for core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft).

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

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/62/33/64/45/46/57/58/39/510/511/312/4
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct

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