2017 Economic Calendar
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Factory Orders  
Released On 7/5/2017 10:00:00 AM For May, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Factory Orders - M/M change-0.2 %-0.3 %-0.5 %-0.9 % to 0.1 %-0.8 %

Forecasters thought factory orders would get a lift from nondurables but they didn't as total orders fell 0.8 percent in May vs Econoday's consensus for minus 0.5 percent. Nondurable orders, held down by weakness in petroleum and coal, also fell 0.8 percent as did durable orders where last week's advance data showed a 1.1 percent decline.

But there are positives in today's report and they include a small lift for core capital goods orders (nondefense ex-aircraft) which, boosted by a jump in mining equipment, rose 0.2 percent vs last week's initial estimate for a 0.2 percent decline. A small plus is a 1 tenth upward revision to April which is now at plus 0.3 percent. Shipments for core capital goods, which are inputs into second-quarter business investment, are similarly revised upward, now at plus 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent in May and April.

Weakness in the report includes aircraft orders with both commercial and defense falling in the double digits in the month. Orders for motor vehicle & parts rose a very solid 1.2 percent though consumer goods fell 0.2 percent.

But manufacturing activity, as described in last week's PMI manufacturing report, is no better than subdued as total shipments rose only 0.1 percent following no change and minus 0.2 percent in the two prior months. A clear negative is a 0.2 percent decline in unfilled orders. Inventories fell 0.1 percent following no change in April, keeping inventories-to-shipments steady at a lean 1.38 ratio that points, however, to a defensive outlook that won't be helping second-quarter GDP.

There are bright spots in this report which overall, however, is consistent with a sector that is struggling to find momentum.

Consensus Outlook
In what would be their second decline in a row, factory orders are expected to drop 0.5 percent in May following a 0.2 percent decline April. Advance data on the durables side of the report were mostly weak as a downswing in aircraft made for a 1.1 percent overall decline. Yet capital goods data in the durables report were also weak with both orders and shipments down 0.2 percent. And any gains on the nondurables side of the factory orders report are likely to be limited by weakness in energy prices.

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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