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First Cut: New orders for all factory goods down on both durables and nondurables

New orders for all factory goods were down 10.3% in March with durables orders down 14.7% and nondurables down 5.8%. Durables orders were dragged lower by transportation (-41.3%) where nondefense aircraft orders were sharply lower (-296.2%). Nondurables decreased mainly due to petroleum and coals prices (-30.3%). The overall decline was not materially different from market expectations and backs up other data about weak orders for the month.

Unfilled orders were down 2.0% in March. There was a significant decline in nondefense aircraft orders in the pipeline (-4.7%) as Boeing suffered another wave of cancellations on its civilian orders. However, defense aircraft orders have not entirely disappeared and that was up somewhat in March (+3.0%).

The dollar value of shipments was down 5.2% in March as lack of orders meant less to ship out as well as price declines in some categories like petroleum.

Inventories declined 0.8% in March, continuing a string of decreases that was a combination of lack of imported goods as well as caution in the face of high levels of economic uncertainty.

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