New orders for all factory goods were up 0.3% in October from September and September was revised to down 0.8% (previously down 0.6%). Orders for nondurable were flat in October while durables orders were up 0.5%, mainly on defense orders. A bump related to defense orders is likely to be short-lived and not disturb the present underlying trend for soft conditions. Orders for durables continue to see swings largely related to transportation. The usual factor that drives the dollar value of nondurable order is if there is a big move in prices for petroleum. That didn’t occur in October.
Elsewhere in the data, unfilled orders continued to remain essentially unchanged month-to-month. Ongoing cancellations for civilian aircraft have restrained the dollar value of orders in the pipeline. Shipments were flat in October as the pace of new orders is not providing any upward momentum. Businesses continued to manage inventories closely. Overall these were up 0.1% in October, although some mild accumulation is developing for durable goods.
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