New orders for manufactured goods in April, up five of the last six months, increased $1.3 billion or 0.3 percent to $418.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. This followed a 4.1 percent March increase. Shipments, up two consecutive months, increased $3.4 billion or 0.8 percent to $412.7 billion. This followed a 2.1 percent March increase. Unfilled orders, up twenty-three of the last twenty-four months, increased $13.0 billion or 1.8 percent to $719.1 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first stated on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 1.8 percent March increase. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 4.85, up from 4.80 in March. Inventories, up thirteen of the last fourteen months, increased $2.4 billion or 0.5 percent to $513.5 billion. This was at the highest level since the series began and followed a 0.2 percent March increase. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.24, down from 1.25 in March.
In a sign that business spending may be picking up, durable goods orders in April were up 1.9%. Inventories rose for the 14th consecutive month.