Shipments and new orders of primary metals and fabricated
metals declined in July compared with the previous month,
according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Aug. 26.
producers shipments totaled $24.91 billion, down 1.6
percent from June, and the year-to-date total of $177.39
billion was 2 percent lower than in the first seven months of
last year, according to nonseasonally adjusted data. New orders
totaled $24.9 billion in July, down 1.7 percent from the
previous month, but the year-to-date total of $180.86 billion
remained 1.9 percent ahead of a year earlier.
shipments in July totaled $28.49 billion, down 4.7 percent from
the previous month, but shipments of $201.3 billion in the
first seven months of the year were up 1 percent from the same
period in 2012. New orders of $28.32 billion last month were
down 3 percent from June, but the year-to-date total of $211.76
billion was 2.9 percent higher than a year earlier.
producers inventories totaled $35.18 billion at the end
of July, up 0.5 percent from a month earlier, while
fabricators inventories were 1.1 percent higher at $47.78
billion in the same comparison.
New orders for all
manufactured durable goods dropped 19.3 percent last month to
$206.5 billion, led by a 21.2-percent decline in motor vehicle
and parts, a 62.7-percent drop in nondefense aircraft and a
35.6-percent slide in defense aircraft.
vehicle orders were up 9.3 percent compared with the first
seven months of 2012 and orders for civilian aircraft were 13.5
percent higher, but federal budget cuts and military drawdowns
abroad shrank defense aircraft and parts orders by 23.5
Everything else in the
durables category softened by around 0.5 percent, according to
Michael Montgomery, U.S. economist for Lexington, Mass.,
consultancy IHS Global Insight Inc.
little forward momentum as it continues to struggle,"
Montgomery said. "The manufacturing outlook remains just a
shade above mediocre, waiting for something to stir it from its
torpor. Better economic news from overseas may rouse exports
and push manufacturing from first gear into second, but it is a
long way from cruising speed."