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Economy
Housing Starts

April housing starts fell by -7.9 %

The construction of new homes, as well as the issuance of new building permits declined in April, as single-family housing starts continue to decline.
In April U.S. housing starts dropped by -7.9 % on the seasonally adjusted basis to annual rate of 1,119,000 units, a decrease of 96,000 units from 1,215,000 in March. Most of April´s decline took place in the Northeast and it was concentrated in single-family buildings.

New building fell -38.9 % in the Northeast while the construction of single-family units deteriorated -10.8 % to 732,000 units.

The starts data can be highly volatile, with data having a margin of error of plus or minus 12%.

In construction of housing units was bellow average rate of 909,357 housing starts.

Permits fell by -2.5 % or 31,000 units to an annual rate of 1,119,000 units, from 1,215,000 in March on the seasonally adjusted basis Most of April´s decline in building permits took place in the Northeast and it was concentrated in single-family buildings.

Building permits fell -9.0 % in the Northeast while the permits for single-family houses deteriorated -4.1 % to 732,000 units.

The single-family permits are considered to be the most important number in the government's release. Compare to a year ago monthly building permits jumped by 10.1 %


Construction of new homes in U.S. dropped by -4.5 % from April 2016, where housing starts in the Northeast declined the most.

Durable Goods Orders

New orders dropped

Booking continued to fell after last month decrease of -78.62%, but unfilled orders improved by 0.35 % to $1,123 billions.
The Commerce Department reported orders for U.S.-made big-ticket items deteriorated in April by -3.16 % to $231 billions, a decrease by $8 billions from $239 in March on the seasonally adjusted basis.
Suggesting some hesitancy on the part of businesses to continue to expand until they see further strengthening of the U.S. economy. Bookings rose by 0.22 % over the past 12 months, but durable goods shipments fell by -1.69 %.

Inventories have climbed by 2.23 % to $394 billions, an increase of $9 billions from $386 in March on the seasonally adjusted basis, as inventories of defense aircraft and parts grew 14.36 % to $13 billions, accounting for 3.27 % of total durable goods inventories. Government purchases of defense products are uneven and can sometimes distort the data, reported by the Commerce Department. Inventory to shipments ratio grew to 1.69 from 1.61 in the previous month.

What's more, demand for big-ticket outside the defense and transportation sectors, a category known as core capital goods, usually declines in the first month of a new quarter based on long-standing business purchasing habits.
In addition, new orders of core capital-equipment goods, which the government uses to help calculate gross domestic product, orders deteriorated faster than ovrall orders by -3.31 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, and shipments by -3.12 %.
That closely watched category gives a better read on trends in the private sector because it excludes transportation and government spending on defense.
Core capital goods orders dropped by -6.01 % and unfilled orders by -8.00 % from April 2016.

Shipments fell by -2.83 % to $233 billions, a decrease by $7 billions from $240 in March in April on the seasonally adjusted basis, as shipments of aircrafts and parts went down -79.87 % to $11 billions, accounting for 4.83 % of total durable goods shipments, reported by the Commerce Department. Excluding transportation shipments fell by -1.46 %.

Unfilled orders have increased by smaller rate than a month ago, unfilled booking surged by 0.35 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, led by 20.84 % increase in electrical equipment unfilled bookings, representing 2.03 % of total unfilled orders. total durable goods inventories dropped by -5.49 % from April 2016.

Gross Domestic Product

In the first-quarter GDP grew 1.2 %

The U.S. economy grew at a solid pace during the January-through-March period, as private domestic investments and foreign demand for American products pick up.
Gross domestic product increased in first-quarter on the seasonally adjusted basis by 1.2 % to $19,028 billions, an increase from $18,869 billions in the forth-quarter, reported by the Commerce Department. Exports and investments grew above averge in the first-quarter.
Broad-based economic growth at a solid pace during the first-quarter, raises hopes that, the U.S. economy is on self-sustaining path. The first estimate of GDP will be revised twice before it becomes final. The advance report includes estimates for trade and inventory growth. U.S. economy advanced by 2.0 % from the same quarter one year ago, as businesses increase investments and foreign demand for American products grows.

Exports also turned in another solid performance, rising 5.80 % compared to 1.50 % in the first-quarter. Domestic manufacturers have led the U.S. growth in large part by boosting exports. U.S. growth would have been even faster if imports, which subtract from GDP, hadn't increased sharply: Imports rose 3.80 % from 2.60 % in the first-quarter.

Government spending decreased by -1.10 % annual pace, with retreatment in spending by state and local governments -0.60 %. Federal spending dipped -2.00 %, including a -3.90 % drop in the volatile defense spending category.

The government provides three estimates of economic growth per quarter, with each reflecting more complete information than the last.

Investments jumped in first-quarter by 4.80 % to $3,020 billions and accelerated on the seasonally adjusted basis, reported by the U.S. Commerce Department.
Businesses, for their part, ratcheted up investments by 11.40 %, improved capital spending and investments in new equipment, are sines of strong business confidence, wich could lead to increase in profits and employement. Purchases of software and equipment surged 7.20 % and accelerated, investments in structures such as offices increased 28.40 % and added 537.30 of a percentage point to first-quarter growth.
Without the buildup in inventories, the economy essentially went sideways.

Consumer spending grew in first-quarter by 0.6 %
With estimated annual rate of $12,806 billions, seasonally adjusted in the forth-quarter, consumer spending accounts for 69.41 % of economic activity on the seasonally adjusted basis, led by growing demand for electricity and gas, reported by the Commerce Department.
Consumption of Goods grew by 1.2 %, although spending on Durable Goods fell by -1.4 %, as furniture and household equipment decline by -0.28 %, accounted for 382.00 % of the decline in the U.S. economy.
Growth in nondurable goods of 0.8 %, as other nondurable goods grew the most, up 0.12 %.
One of most important sectors in U.S., the sevice sector grew by 0.3 %, led by growing demand for electricity and gas. Consumer spending for services accounts for 68.6% of total speding and 47.19% of total Gross national product.

Final sales for domestic product, considered a measure of domestic demand because it excludes inventories and trade, jumped at a 2.2 % rate in the first-quarter after rising 2.0 % in the forth-quarter.

Warehouse_By Cayco_[CC-BY-SA-3.0_(http_creativecommons.org_licenses_by-sa_3.0)]_via_Wikimedia_Common Retail Inventories

retail inventories continued to grow


The Commerce Department announced U.S. retail inventories increased a slim 0.1 % in March on the seasonally adjusted basis.0.28 Over the past 12 months, led by inventory build up of 6.4 %, at the car dealars, inventories advanced by 2.8 %.
Inventories excluding motor vehicle and parts jumped, with inventory to sales ratio of 1.24 by 0.41 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, to $396.8 billions, from $395.2 billion in February.

Retail inventories by category

Inventory to sales ratio

Loxley_Farm_Market_Produce_By_Infrogmation_of_New_Orleans_[CC-BY-SA-3.0_(http_creativecommons.org_licensesby-sa3.0)]_via_Wikimedia_Commons Consumer Price Index

Inflation on the rise again

U.S. Consumer prices fell again after dipping in the last month, led by increase in gasoline prices.
The Labor Department announced total cpi edge up by 0.2 % in April on the seasonally adjusted basis. Overall CPI grew by 2.2 % over the past 12 months, as the core rate increased on the slower rate than total consumer price index.
Stripping out the volatile food and energy categories, the core rate of consumer price inflation rose smaller than total consumer price by 0.1 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, hospital services, lodging and tuition prices grew above average, Car prices decline.
The core index is usually viewed by investors and the Federal Reserve as a better gauge of inflationary pressure because it excludes the volatile food and energy categories.
Consumer price index excluding food and energy advanced by 1.9 % for the year.

With prices rising across the board, consumer had to paid more money for food, energy, gasoline, while within communication sector prices declined.

Food & beverages prices have increased by smaller rate than a month ago, food prices increased by 0.2 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, as prices for alcoholic beverages increased the most. Food prices rose by 0.5 % over the past 12 months.

Energy and commoditie prices grew by higher rate than in previous month, commodities by 0.1% and energy rose by 1.1 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, compare to a year ago energy prices jumped by 9.3 %.

Apparel prices have increased by higher rate than in previous period, housing fell by -0.3 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, where womens, girls, mens and boys apparel prices fell below average, while prices for infants and toddlers apparel climbed. Apparel prices rose by 0.5 % over the past 12 months.

Prices for housing have increased by higher rate than in previous period, housing grew by 0.3 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, energy services rose the most, by 0.9 %. Over the last 12 months, prices for housing soared by 3.2 %.

Producer Price Index

PPI increased again in April

Producer prices have recovered after a dip in March, led by growth in crude materials for further processing, crude petroleum and food prices.
The Wholesale price Index grew in April by 0.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, reported by the Labor Department. Sometimes rising wholesale prices result in higher consumer costs, especially for fuel, but in many cases they do not. Overall PPI grew by 2.5 % over the past 12 months, as the core rate increased on the slower rate than total ppi.
Prices for intermediate goods have increased by higher rate than in previous period, intermediate prices jumped by 0.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, as prices for processed fuels increased the most. Core intermediate prices excluding food and energy jumped by 0.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis. The core component of PPI is viewed as a key leading indicator of inflation. Over the past 12 months, intermediate prices grew by 5.4 %.

Intermediate products are items such as steel, processed from iron ore, before it is made into cars.

Closely monitored PPI excluding food and energy surged by 0.4 % smaller than total producer price on the seasonally adjusted basis.
The core index is viewed by the Federal Reserve as a more accurate gauge of long-term inflationary pressure because the price of food and energy are volatile month to month.
Producer price index excluding food and energy advanced by 1.7 % for the year.

Investors are monitoring how corporations are passing along rising commodity prices onto consumers, which may signal the rise of inflation.

Crude materials prices have rebounded from decline in previous period, the cost of raw materials jumped by 3.3 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, led by price increases for manufacturing materials and crude fuel. Excluding volatile food and energy, core rate, which the Federal Reserve pays close attention for signs of inflation dropped by -0.7 % on the seasonally adjusted basis. Compare to a year ago crude materials prices jumped by 13.9 %.

Prices for finished consumer goods have rebounded from decline in previous period, finished consumer goods prices jumped by 0.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, cost for food grew the most, led by higher costs for fresh & dry vegetables, by 28.5 %. Over the last 12 months, prices for finished goods soared by 4 %.

Recently Repoted Results
mexicaninteriors_By_oswaldo_[CC-BY-SA-2.0_(http_creativecommons.org_licenses_by-sa_2.0)]_via_Wikimedia_Common Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales accelerated in April

Retail sales increased on the faster pace again, as growth in consumer spending returns.
U.S. retail sales increased by 0.4 % in April to $474.9 billion on the seasonally adjusted basis, reported by the Commerce Department. Led by strong nonstore retailers sales.

The willingness of consumers to spend is the key driver for economic growth. Retail sales account for about half of total consumer spending and about a third of final sales in the U.S. economy. Retail sales grew by 4.7 % over the past 12 months, meanwhile sales excluding volatile motor vehicle and parts sales, increased less than overall retail sales, over the last 12 months.

In April, sales increased 1.4% at internet retailers, department stores up 0.2%.

Several other areas with sales growth were 1.3% at electronics and appliance stores, building materials dealers grew by 1.2%, health and personal care stores grew by 0.8%.

Meanwhile, sales fell -0.5% at clothing and accessories stores.

Excluding the volatile auto sector sales grew sequentially on the same pace like in previous month by 0.3 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, building materials stores and online sales grew above average. Furniture and home furnishings stores sales declined.

Investors and the Federal Reserve usually view the core sales as a better gauge of retail sales because it excludes car sales, which often fluctuate.

The retail sales data fit with a string of other economic reports that suggest an improving economy.

Excluding the volatile auto sector sales grew by 4.6 % over the past 12 months.

Sales of essentials have increased by smaller rate than a month ago, sales advanced by 0.1 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, food services and drinking places sales grew above averge, although sales in food and beverage stores declined. Over the past 12 months, sales of essentials grew by 5.7 %.



Advance monthly sales full report

Advance monthly sales growth

Auto Sales

U.S. Auto sales fell in April


In AprilU.S. auto sales deteriorated by -5.6 % from the same month a year ago to 1,449,863 vehicles, or -85,622 autos.
Number of factors, including low incentives, limited availability and a flat economy, have constrained demand and will continue to keep the industry in check.

Sales dropped by -8.3 % from March level.
General Motors, which saw a -5.8 % decline in sales. General Motors the No. 1 U.S. automobile manufacturer, said it sold 244406 vehicles in April in the U.S., down from 259557 a year ago and -8.3 % below March total of 1,535,485.


Declining demand for Chevrolet Impala models was evident in April, with sales of 3,213 units, that was -61 % less, than a year ago. Sales of Chevrolet brand fell by -10.4 %, while GM sold 50.6 of its Chevrolet Cruze models. Sales of GMC cars and trucks, made up 19.2 %, of total U.S. auto sales in April. And fell as well -0.3 % to 47,004 vehicles. Good news came from Buick, where sales grew 17 % to 20,735 vehicles.

The hefty - and costly - incentives from GM in the previous two months of the year fell back to Earth in April, and that translated to lackluster retail sales. The industry will be carefully watching GM's performance this month to see if April was an aberration or the start of a downward trend.

In AprilFord Motor Co. vehicle sales dropped by -7.2 %. Ford said it sold 214,695 vehicles in April in the U.S., down from 231,316 a year ago and -9.1 % below March total of 1,535,485.

There are people who put off vehicle purchases because of uncertainty about fuel prices, vehicle availability and the economy.

Monthly, quarterly and annual vehicle sales

Vehicle production and Market share

International Trade

Declining Exports increase U.S. Trade gap in March

The U.S. trade gap widened in March on the shrinking trade.
U.S. trade gap increased by 0.3 % in March to a rate at $43.7 billion , reported by the Commerce Department. The increase in trade deficit it's not only bad news in this report but declining imports as well, as shrinking exports of U.S. goods and services indicate slowing global demand, increasing oil imports may signal healthy economic activity, but they also widen the trade deficit, as the trade gap subtracts from the GDP growth, economists noted.

Economists said the data showed that higher gasoline prices are not just an inflation threat but can constrain economic growth.

Imports from China, meanwhile, climbed to $34.2 billion in March from $32.8 billion in February. The trade deficit with the rising Asian giant increased $1.61 billion to $-24.6 billion in March. Country data are not seasonally adjusted.

Lawmakers and some business executives say China keeps its currency artifically low to boosts its exports.

In March imports sunk by -0.73 %, the largest decline came from imports of Foods, feeds, and beverages and Passenger Fares. U.S. Imports of Advanced Materials also declined, by -19.09 % to $0.20 billions. Opposite to overall trend, imports of Cars, parts, engines and Travel services, surged. Imports of Weapons increased also, up 12.90 % to $0.07 billions.

The foreign trade picture continues to be one of weaker global growth constraining exports, and slow domestic spending limiting the pull for imports, some economists said.

The price of a barrel of oil rose to $46.3 a barrel in March. Imports of petroleum decreased by $1.44 billion, to $15.4 billion, in March. The U.S. imported 8.4 million barrels a day in March, down from 8.4 million in the prior month. The decline of imports was broad based, services fell -0.2 % and imports of goods declined by -0.85 %.

Higher petroleum consumption in the U.S., has resulted in higher imports from OPEC Countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
Imports from europe increased, as demand for goods from Russia grew the most, up 66.14 % to $2 billions, but imports of oil from Norway fell.
Imports from Canada and Mexico grew in March boosted by the higher price of oil.
Pacific Rim Region has seen increasing demand from the U.S., where imports from Hong Kong grew the most, although demand for goods from Newly Industrialized Countries fell.

U.S. trade gap dropped by -6.9 % from Feb. 2016, due to 7.20 % increase in exports.

The Commerce Department reported, that U.S. exports dropped by -0.98 % in March, as the United States decrease exports of Cars, parts, and engines and Other Transportation services. Exports of Nuclear Technology also fell -76.65 % to $0.05 billions. Bucking the overall trend, exports of miscellaneous other goods and The Buick brand notched the biggest gains up 17 % from a year earlier, to 20,735 units. , surged. Exports of Flexible Manufacturing grew as well, increasing 43.51 % to $1.97 billions.
The weakness overseas is hitting home. U.S. manufacturers, which have led the economic growth, have turned more cautious and business is slowing, according to a number of more recent sector surveys. U.S. Exports of services increased 0.46 %, but weakining sales of the U.S. goods abroad, posted a drag on exports, goods accounted for 66.1 %, of total exports in March, they declined by -1.7 %.

Sales of U.S. made goods, improved in the Pacific Rim Region, where exports to Hong Kong grew the most, although demand for U.S. made goods, from Newly Industrialized Countries, fell.
Demand for U.S. made goods increased in Brazil, Colombia and overall South and Central America.
Exports to europe improved, as exports to Switzerland grew the most, up 64.36 %, but exports to Austria fell by -71.25 %.

Exports of Goods by Selected Countries & Areas

Imports of crude oil and petroleum products

Economy
workout_By_Nnu-12-22100541Tracy_(Own_work)_[CC-BY-SA-3.0_(http_creativecommons.org_licenses_by-sa_3.0)]_via_Wikimedia_Commons Productivity

Productivity declined in first-quarter


In the first-quarter U.S. productivity decreased by -1.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis. Productivity measures describe the relationship between real output and the labor time involved in its production.

Real hourly compensation has continued to decline. Economists say that consumer spending probably cannot grow, unless paychecks increase, the hourly compensation decreased by -1.3 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, real hourly compensation in durable goods manufacturing decrease the most, by -1.7 %.
The measure includes accrued inflation-adjusted wages and salaries, supplements, employer contributions to employee benefit plans, and taxes. U.S. hourly inflation-adjusted compensation fell by -1.3 % from a year ago.

IV Quarter productivity was revised to 2.4 % growth.

Business output has increased by smaller rate than a quarter ago, business production jumped by 0.5 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, led by increases in nonfarm business, durable goods manufacturing and in total manufacturing.

U.S. productivity rose by 1 % over the past 12 months, as employes spend more hours at work. U.S. business production grew by 2.3 % over the past year.

U.S. labor costs continued to grew by higher rate, the labor costs jumped by 3.4 % on the seasonally adjusted basis.

Increases in hourly compensation, lead to increase in unit labor costs U.S. labor costs jumped by 2.9 % for the year.

Output, labor costs by category

Real hourly compensation by category

Economy

Montage_By_Michael_Schmahl_(Own_work)__[CC-BY-SA-3.0_(http_creativecommons.org_licenses_by-sa_3.0)]_via_Wikimedia_Commons Construction Spending

Construction spending fell in March by -0.2 %

Construction spending decreased after recent increase in February, pulled down by commercial construction spending by -3.39 %.
In March outlays for U.S. construction projects declined by -0.2 % on the seasonally adjusted basis. Since construction outlays are one of the important sources of domestic growth, flat or declining construction spending is generally a negative sign. Over the last 12 months, construction spending soared by 7.1 %, as construction of office buildings helped to increase total construction.

Spending on public construction projects dropped by -0.9 % faster than total construction outlays on the seasonally adjusted basis, nonresidential spending fell for offices and power projects.
Government spending is subject to state and local budgets and often it does not reflect current economic contidions.
Government construction outlays fell by -5.8 % from March 2016.

Spending on private construction has climbed despite the decrease in total construction outlays, by 1.2 % on the seasonally adjusted basis.
Investors often use nonresidential construction spending as indicator of investment sentiment in each sector, as increase in construction spending represents growth in long term investment and signals expansion.
From the same month a year ago, private construction outlays jumped by 15.6 %.
February outlays for U.S. construction projects were revised to $1220.7 billion to show 3.4 % growth.

Construction spending by category

Growth in construction outlays

Economy
unemployed_lines_pd Employment Report

April data show improvement in jobs market

The U.S. gained 211,000 jobs in April, as the hiring in the private sector accelerates and the public sector creates new jobs.
Employment outside the farm sector grew by 211,000 workers in April and the jobless rate fell to 4.4 %, from 4.5 %, on the seasonally adjusted basis, reported by the Labor Department.

Companies in the private service providing sector hired 173,000 workers and payrolls in goods-producing industries rose by 21,000, bringing overall job growth in the pivate sector to 194,000. Hiring was strong accross the board in the April report, improvement in the private sector, was followed by the job growth in public sector, as the government hired 17,000 people.
The U.S. labor market showed strong signs in April as job growth accelerated. Total number of employed persons in the U.S. rose by 0.10 % to 153,16 millions, the biggest increases occurred in leisure and hospitality sectors up by 55,000 payrolls, the information sector fared poorly by trimming -7,000 jobs.

The decline in the unemployment rate, which is based on a separate household survey, seemed solid. Unemployment decreased to 7.06 million, a decrease by -146,000 from 7.20 million in March by -2.03 % on the seasonally adjusted basis.
The labor force increased by 12,000 in April, driving the employment participation rate down -0.10 % to 62.90 %.


Average workweek grew in April by 0.29 % to 34.40 hours, an increase of $0.10 from 34.30 in March on the seasonally adjusted basis, the surging retail sector increased hours worked the most to 31.20 hours, the biggest decline took place in utilities down to 41.40 hours, reported by the Labor Department.
With modest increase in hourly earnings and growth in hours worked, average weekly earnings increased in the private sector to $900.94 from $896.60 in the previous month.
The April employment report showed a slight increase in workers' hourly wages by 0.19 % to $26.19, an increase of $0.05 from $26.14 in March on the seasonally adjusted basis, hourly earnings in the information sector rose the most to $37.96, the biggest decline took place in professional and business services sectors down to $31.62, reported by the U.S. Labor Department.
Improving wages are one of the major contributors to the fast rate of hiring since consumption accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. growth. When people have more to spend, business have enough demand for their goods and services to hire more workers.

Job growth by Industry

Salary by Industry

Stocks
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Barack_Obama_at_Trinity_Structural_Towers_Manufacturing_Plant_pd Industrial production

The output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities accelerated in March

Industrial production increased on the faster pace again, consumers turned on their air conditioners and elevated utilities output.
Industrial production grew in double digits in March by 28.7 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, elevating capacity utilization to 76 %, but still with room to improve. The government report has revealed some weakness as output increase was driven by higher elctricity consumption.

The expanding industrial output is one of the key drivers for economic growth, as boosting industrial production creates additional demand down the supply-chain and increases employement. Production edged up by 0.6 % over the past 12 months, led by growth in utilitie output.
Manufacturing of durable goods grew in double digits by 28.3 %, led by wood products output, on the seasonally adjusted basis.

Mining output has increased by higher rate than in previous period, output of mines grew in double digits by 25.7 % on the seasonally adjusted basis. Output of nations mines advanced by 1.8 % for the year.

Shopping_in_By_Ramunasjurevicius_(Own_work)_[CC-BY-SA-3.0_(http_creativecommons.org_licenses_by-sa_3.0)]_via_Wikimedia_Common Personal Income and Spending

Incomes rose 0.2 % in March spending ebbs

Americans cut back on spending in March and increased their savings, another sign that the U.S. economy has cooled off, government data showed.
The Commerce Department announced personal income increased a slim 0.2 % in March on the seasonally adjusted basis.
Yet spending has barely changed over the past month, indicating consumers have grown more cautious and they are trying to rebuild their savings. Businesses, for their part, have less reason to hire and boost production if consumer demand slackens. And without more hiring, consumer spending is likely to remain subdued.

Disposable income, money left over after taxes, increased by 0.2 %, as well, lifting average American income to $44,405 at the annualized rate.

Personal consumption expenditures remained unchanged. The combination of higher income and lower spending allowed consumers to boost their savings rate to 5.9 % from 5.7 % in January.
Yet after Americans rebuild their savings, they will be in a better position to spend later in the year. Steady if unspectacular job growth also will add to overall consumer income and undergird spending, economists say.

Wages have increased by smaller rate than a month ago, led by Services-producing industries by 0.12 %, the proprietors income with inventory valuation and capital consumption, grew much faster than the wages, this could suggest further wage increases in the coming months.


Higher government payments for social programs such as Medicaid and unemployment compensation, lifted March's personal income.

Factory Orders (Picture Autor: Wolfgang Meinhart) licence GNU Factory Orders

New orders growth slows in March

orders increased on the slower pace than in the previous month, but Shipments of durable goods fell by -0.11 % to $479 billions.
The Commerce Department announced orders for U.S. factory edge up by 0.17 % to $478 billions, an increase of $0.8 billions from $477 in February in March on the seasonally adjusted basis, as bookings for defense aircraft and parts grew 31.04 % to $39.9 billions, accounting for 1.09 % of total factory orders. Government purchases of defense products are uneven and can sometimes distort the data.

The rise in demand last month was lead by transportation and defense, but almost every sector tracked by the Commerce Department reported an increase.
The manufacturing sector has played a vital role in the economy lately because of the reluctance of Americans to spend. New orders jumped by 4.32 % for the year, and shipments by 3.04 %.

Also, orders for a category known as excluding defense and transportation, viewed as the report's best indicator of private-sector trends, orders fell despite the increase in total bookings, by -0.19 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, and shipments by -0.08 %.
That category excludes defense and transportation and gives a better indication of longer-term trends in the private sector.
Over the past 12 months, excluding defense and transportation bookings grew by 4.54 %, but unfilled orders fell by -5.31 %.

In March total manufacturing shipments declined by -0.11 % to $479 billions, a decrease by $1 billions from $479 in February on the seasonally adjusted basis, as shipments for industrial machinery declined -3.20 % to $2 billions, accounting for 0.51 % of total shipments. Excluding transportation shipments fell by -0.23 %.

Inventories remained unchanged in March on the seasonally adjusted basis, reported by the U.S. Commerce Department. Inventory to shipments ratio grew to 1.35 from 1.35 in the previous month.

Unfilled orders continue to grow by higher rate, unfilled orders grew by 0.26 % on the seasonally adjusted basis, led by 7.08 % increase in construction machinery, accounting for 0.44 % of total factory unfilled orders. total factory inventories dropped by -5.33 % from March 2016.

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