Economist's Insights

Factory Orders Show Only Slight Positive Revisions to Business Activity

Jun 5, 2017

The April Factory Orders report was as expected, with headline orders down 0.2% from March. However, the March data was revised higher (+0.2% to +1.0%) and put overall orders on a firmer trajectory than before. The report included final updates to initial estimates for orders of capital and durable goods, with the two datasets faring differently in revisions. Durable goods orders were slightly weaker than initially estimated, down 0.8% in April; down 0.5% when excluding transportation items. Business activity was better after the initial estimate of unchanged business orders was revised to 0.1% and shipments were revised from -0.1% to +0.1%. All told, weak durable goods orders offset a slight gain in non-durable activity and the trajectory of business spending slowed from a faster 1Q pace.