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U.S. April Factory Orders, Shipments Hit All-Time Highs
Jun 3, 2005
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The National Association of Manufacturers pointed to the Commerce Department report about record high factory orders and shipments in April as promising evidence that the economy may be moving beyond its much discussed "soft-patch" and that U.S. manufacturing is likely to perform more strongly in the second half of the year.

"April orders for manufactured goods increased 0.9 percent to a record U.S. $386 billion, while shipments also increased to a record $390.9 billion," said NAM Chief Economist David Huether. "April orders for durable goods also surged 1.9 percent after three consecutive months of declines."

Mr. Huether noted that non-durable orders fell by 0.2 percent. But, he said, this was mainly due to falling oil prices. Excluding petroleum, new orders for non-durables rose a very solid 1.1 percent - the first increase since January - with increases taking place in 8 out of 11 industrial categories.

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