October US Factory Orders Up

Date: December 07, 2016

October Orders Rise The Most In 18 Months

The latest Commerce Department data shows that US factory orders rose 2.7 percent in October, which was the biggest increase in almost a year and a half. Durable goods orders increased 4.6 percent while non-durable goods orders rose 0.9 percent. The AP reports that factory orders had “the best showing since a 2.9 percent rise in June 2015,” with strength coming from “a 93.8 percent surge in the volatile category of commercial aircraft.” However, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft “edged up just 0.2 percent following a 1.5 percent drop in September.” According to the AP, economists are forecasting that manufacturing “may start seeing better days with energy prices now rising again.” Reuters characterizes the increase as “further evidence that the manufacturing sector is gradually recovering after a prolonged downturn.” The increase came “after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent gain in September” and “marked four straight months of gains.” Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory orders “increasing 2.6 percent in October.” In addition, unfilled orders at factories increased 0.7 percent, “the biggest rise since July 2014, ending four consecutive months of decline.” While the report suggests “an upturn in manufacturing,” progress “is likely to be limited by renewed dollar strength,” Reuters adds.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small business owners are looking for signals that the US economy is picking up steam. The latest Commerce Department data on factory orders is a positive sign that manufacturing is recovering, and may be an indication of broader economic expansion.

Additional Reading

U.S. News & World Report and Philly (PA) also provide coverage of the latest Commerce Department factory order data.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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