Orders for U.S. manufactured goods increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in September on gains in machinery, autos, defense goods and chemicals, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday.
Factory orders have risen in five of the past six months, but are down 13.9% in the first nine months of 2009 compared with the same period a year ago.
Factory orders fell 0.8% in August and rose 1.4% in July. Read the full report. September's 0.9% gain was stronger than the 0.6% increase expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.
The report is consistent with other data showing the factory sector bouncing back from the worst recession since World War II. On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management reported that its purchasing managers' index rose to 55.7% in October, the highest in two years.
Any ideas on why the machinery component was so large? I am not aware of any seasonal factors, so why the big jump?
It's worth noting that new orders growth for Machinery was a strong 7.9% (far right column, below, which shows September vs. August growth), driven by a massive 47.4% jump in orders for construction machinery. Yes, the data is seasonally adjusted, and there appears to have been a large jump even on the non-adjusted numbers. Thus while data can be volatile, one wonders what exactly caused the massive jump here.
In $$ terms, the $23.5 billion in new machinery orders means new orders total $80 billion less YTD than the same period in 2008.