Extending the longest streak since the 2008-2009 recession, Factory Orders Unexpectedly Decline 6th Month.

New orders for U.S. factory goods unexpectedly fell in January, posting their sixth straight monthly decline, a sign of weakness in the manufacturing sector.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday new orders for manufactured goods slipped 0.2 percent after a revised 3.5 percent decline in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected factory orders to gain 0.2 percent in January after a previously reported 3.4 percent tumble in December.

Bloomberg Consensus Estimate

The Bloomberg Consensus Estimate was also +0.2%, but the forecast range was a very wide -2.5% to 3.0%.

New Orders vs. Shipments

Chart from Bloomberg

To help explain the chart, Bloomberg notes that “Aircraft orders have a long lead to shipment.”

Census Report

Diving into the Census Report, for January vs. December (seasonally adjusted) we find new orders look like this:

  • All Manufacturing: -0.2%
  • Excluding Transportation: -1.8%
  • Excluding Defense: -0.2%

Durable goods rose 2.8% due to jump in commercial aircraft orders. It was not enough to offset everything else.

Blame Game

In the reports from Reuters and Bloomberg, some blame the rising dollar, some blame weakness in foreign demand, some blame the port strike, and some blame lower oil prices, and some blame cutbacks in the energy sector.

No one cited the “slowing global economy”.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock