June 4, 2012 |
There's been quite a bit of chatter this spring about a rebound in the manufacturing sector. Whether those predictions will hold up is looking less and less certain as new orders tumble. Demand for factory-made goods has fallen three of the past four months, sliding an unexpected 0.6%, or $2.9 billion, in April. The measure had tanked 2.1% in March, marking the first back-to-back declines in more than three years. Machinery orders plunged 2.9%; requests for cars, computers and electrical equipment also fell, according to the Commerce Department . Demand for non-durable goods - items designed to last less than three years - dipped 1.1%.
February 3, 2012 |
Another good sign for the economic recovery: U.S. factories are busily humming along, with manufacturing orders for commercial aircraft, machinery and autos up in December. New investment in capital goods rose 1.1% to $466.2 billion, according to the Commerce Department . Orders had jumped 2.2% in November. Transportation equipment alone was responsible for $58.3 billion worth of orders. Overall, orders spiked 12.1% in 2011 after rising 12.9% the year before. The $5.36-trillion total is just under the $5.44-trillion record set in 2008.
January 3, 2012 |
Factory work expanded at its fastest pace in six months in December, continuing a growth trend that has lasted more than two years, according to a new report from the Institute of Supply Management . The group's manufacturing index rose to 53.9 from 52.7 in November. Any reading above 50 represents improvement in the sector. Manufacturers said production, new orders and employment were all swelling last month while inventories and prices of raw materials were down. Industries including food and beverage, computers and electronics, and paper and textiles saw action pick up. A measure of employment found an uptick in jobs for the 27th straight month, jumping to 55.1 from 51.8.
December 5, 2011
Companies decreased their overall orders to U.S. factories in October for the second straight month, evidence that the economy remains weak despite other signs of improvement. The Commerce Department says total factory orders fell 0.4 percent. September's modest 0.3 percent increase was also revised to show a 0.1 percent drop. Demand for so-called core capital goods, a good proxy for business investment, fell 0.8 percent. The report covers both durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, and nondurable goods, products such as paper, chemicals and clothing.
October 4, 2011 |
Xiong Mingjian is often crushed into a corner during his tedious subway commutes, but passing the time has been easy since he bought a nifty new cellphone. The 27-year-old store clerk surfs the Internet and taps away at games on his Motorola Defy, one of an increasing number of popular high-end mobile phones that are helping China shed its label as a knockoff haven. For years, copycat cellphones have thrived in a country famed for counterfeiting many things, such as Gucci handbags, Hollywood DVDs and, most recently, Apple retail stores.
August 31, 2011 |
Factory activity in the U.S. Midwest slowed just a bit in August and private employers continued to hire despite extreme financial market turmoil, easing fears the economy would fall back into recession. Other data on Wednesday showed a strong rebound in demand for manufactured goods in July as orders for motor vehicles posted their largest gain since 2003, another suggestion a recession could be avoided despite some weak economic signals. "For those of us who don't believe the economy is in a free fall, we have got some support," said David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.