CHICAGO U.S. metal producers shipments and new
orders fell in December from the previous month, but the
full-year totals were higher than in 2011.
December shipments were valued
at $25.95 billion, down 4.3 percent from November, but
full-year shipments jumped 12.5 percent to nearly $343.15
billion, the latest U.S. Census Bureau data show. New orders
fell 4.7 percent to $25.74 billion in December, while the
full-year total rose 9.5 percent to $336.91 billion.
shipments totaled $24.8 billion in December, down 5.8 percent
from $26.32 billion the previous month, but annual shipments of
$329.31 billion were up 3.8 percent from $317.13 billion in
2011. New orders bucked the year-end trend, inching up 0.6
percent to $25.86 billion in December, and full-year orders of
$333.75 billion increased 3.3 percent.
New orders for durable goods
rose 4.6 percent to $230.74 billion in December on a seasonally
adjusted basis, and shipments rose 1.3 percent to $230.57
Orders rose in December "because
of a spike in the volatile aircraft category," said Patrick
Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight Inc., Lexington,
"Outside of aircraft, the (new
orders) numbers were mostly positive," he said, noting growth
in all categories except fabricated metals and machinery.