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Metal shipments, new orders rebound

Keywords: Tags  durable goods, metal producers, fabricators, shipments, new orders, inventories, gross domestic product, Michael Montgomery IHS Global Insight

CHICAGO — Shipments and new orders of primary metals and fabricated metals rebounded in August, while each sector lowered inventories slightly, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Sept. 25.

Primary metal producers’ shipments totaled nearly $26.5 billion, up 6.1 percent from July. However, the total of almost $204 billion for the first eight months of the year was 1.5 percent lower than a year earlier, according to the data, which is not seasonally adjusted.

Producers’ new orders totaled almost $25.8 billion in August, up 3.4 percent from the prior month, with the eight-month tally of $206.6 billion rising 2.5 percent year on year. However, the August totals could be attributed to fewer shipping days the prior month.

Producers’ inventories totaled $35.1 billion in August, down 0.1 percent from a month earlier, while fabricators’ inventories fell 0.5 percent to $47.6 billion.

Fabricators’ shipments totaled $30.8 billion, up 8 percent from July. That put the eight-month total up 0.9 percent to $232.2 billion.

The sector’s new orders rose 7.5 percent to $30.7 billion, with the eight-month total up 2.9 percent to $242.7 billion.

and fabricators’ order-taking is up 2.9 percent.

New orders rose for all manufactured durable goods increased 10.9 percent last month to $238.2 billion.

"When you strip away volatile (manufacturing) segments (like aerospace), one sees what’s really going on— and it is not pretty. Not ugly, but not pretty," Michael Montgomery, U.S. economist at Lexington, Mass.-based IHS Global Insight Inc., said.

"Core capital goods deliveries, which fuel gross domestic product arithmetic, rose 1.3 percent but had fallen 1.4 percent in July. (That) pattern is the story: Manufacturing is one step forward, one back," he added. "Progress (for the near term will be) at a nearly glacial pace."

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