2018 Economic Calendar
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Factory Orders  
Released On 4/4/2018 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Factory Orders - M/M change-1.4 %-1.3 %1.7 %1.1 % to 2.2 %1.2 %

Highlights
The book on February's factory sector, the month before tariffs on metals hit, is now closed. Orders rose 1.2 percent but benefited from a jump in aircraft which, in January, skewed orders sharply lower. Excluding aircraft as well as other transportation equipment, orders managed only a 0.1 percent increase vs January's 0.4 percent rise.

Yet there is definitive strength in the February report as orders for core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft) surged 1.4 percent with shipments for this reading also up 1.4 percent. The latter is a direct input into GDP and will help the first-quarter showing for business investment.

Primary metals, where U.S. tariffs are targeted, were already in demand in February, rising 2.8 percent with related inventories already building at 0.5 percent. This will be a subcomponent to watch as tariff effects unfold and whether manufacturers are pre-buying metals in anticipation of higher prices ahead.

Other readings include another surprisingly modest build for unfilled orders, up only 0.2 percent following January's 0.3 percent decline. Total inventories rose a moderate 0.3 percent in the month with total shipments up 0.2 percent.

Despite some soft readings in this report, the overall order rise and especially the order rise for capital goods point to manufacturing momentum.

Consensus Outlook
The durable goods report for February showed impressive strength especially for capital goods orders. Total factory orders for February are expected to rise a very solid 1.7 percent and offset a 1.4 percent downswing in January that was skewed lower by aircraft orders.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/23/64/45/36/47/38/29/610/411/212/6
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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