(February 4, 2008) – The full report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders, released today, showed December factory orders +2.3%, or $10.1 billion, after a 1.7% November increase. Orders increased six of the past seven months.
Shipments decreased $1.2 billion, or 0.3%, to $427.5 billion. Unfilled orders, up 31 of the last 32 months, increased $20.0 billion, or 2.5%, to $808.7 billion. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 5.43, up from 5.31 in November. Inventories increased $4.0 billion or 0.8% to $528.1 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.24, which is not an excessive level.
Durable goods orders in December increased $10.9 billion, or 5.0%, to $226.1 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $0.8 billion, or 0.4%, to $215.5 billion.
New orders for capital goods were up +11.3%, a sharp acceleration from 2.8% for all of 2007. Unfilled orders for capital goods increased 21.7% in 2007.
So where is the recession everybody is talking about? A recession requires at least 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. I remain convinced that we will see no negative growth quarters at all this year.