Factory Orders Rise 1.3% In February, Miss Expectations, Inventories At Fresh Record

Following the durable goods miss at the end of March, there were some who were expecting another Schrodinger print in today's Factory Orders report, which was expected to post a 1.5% increase (even as the Durable Goods miss was revised from 2.2% to 2.4%, still short of the +3.0% expectation). Alas, no such luck, and instead the weakness from March is spilling over into April as February new factory orders rose 1.3%, missing expectations, but an improvement from January's print which was revised lower to -1.1%. Shipments however declined 0.4% in February, following two consecutive monthly increases. "Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, had the largest decrease, $1.3 billion or 2.5 percent to $49.2 billion." Finally, and in what will be no surprise to anyone, Inventory stockpiling continues, and is now up twenty-eight of the last twenty-nine months. "This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.6 percent January increase." Finally, the inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.33, unchanged from January. We will likely see some modest downward GDP revisions based on this data.

Unfilled orders to shipments ratio at 6.23 is the highest since February 2010.

And this is how the new normal works: