New manufacturing orders rose in August, but shipments have not kept pace, according to a United States Census Bureau report released on Monday.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in August rose $ 4.6 billion, or 1.8%, to $ 263.5 billion, continuing an upward trend in output in 15 of 16 last months. The new data represents an increase of 0.5% from July.
Taking defense goods into account, new orders are up 2.4%. But the main driver of new orders was transportation equipment and capital goods, which led the increase by $ 4.2 billion.
As the manufacturing sector increased, shipments of these durable goods reversed course and declined in August after three consecutive months of increases.
The amount of goods shipped fell $ 1.2 billion to $ 256.1 billion, a decrease of 0.5%. Just as transportation equipment was the engine of new orders in the recent report, it also led to the decline in durable goods shipments with a drop of $ 2 billion to $ 73.5 billion.
The July Durable Goods Report has also been revised to reflect a 0.5% increase in total orders placed. It was previously reported that the total number of new orders in July was down 1.2% and the declines were concentrated in the transportation sector. Figures for August signal that the sector has rebounded somewhat, even though it continues to struggle with unsatisfied shipments of finished durable goods.
However, these trends pursue a pattern of high demand and a supply gap that has not been able to close it. The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated this situation by compressing global supply chains and creating persistent labor shortages across all industries, pushing up manufacturing costs.