That March factory orders declined 1.5% was not very surprising: the market was expecting a decline of 1.6%. However, this is not good news as the prior February increase of 1.3% was revised lower to 1.1%, netting out as a negative two month change. Where this number was troubling is that this 2.6% swing brought the index to its biggest decline since March 2009 when the pumping of trillions started.
And some other observations from the report:
Shipments, up ten consecutive months, increased $3.3 billion or 0.7 percent to $466.2 billion. This followed a 0.1 percent February increase.
Unfilled orders, up twenty-three of the last twenty-four months, increased $0.5 billion or 0.1 percent to $930.6 billion. This followed a 1.2 percent February increase. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.17, down from 6.24 in February.
Inventories, up twenty-nine of the last thirty months, increased $1.9 billion or 0.3 percent to $618.4 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.3 percent February increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.33, unchanged from February.
And so on. This will shortly usher follow through revisions to Q2 GDP forecasts which is nearly half way into the quarter with less than a bang.