New Factory Orders Fall 2.4% From Record High

New orders for manufactured goods took their first dip in three months, dropping 2.4%, to $485 billion, according to a July Department of Commerce report [link opens in PDF] released today. After hitting an all-time high in June, analysts were pleasantly surprised, having expected a major 3.4% decline.

Source: Department of Commerce

Although the overall drop was less than expected, a 7.4% decrease in durable goods orders continues to spell trouble for longer-term economic confidence. Transportation equipment proved to be the main culprit, with new orders dropping off 19.4% from June's numbers. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods paint a more positive picture, increasing 2.4% for July.

Unfilled orders increased 0.4% to an all-time high since data was first recorded in 1992, while shipments bumped up 1.1%. Inventories continued to expand to record highs, increasing 0.3%, due, primarily, to a 0.6% expansion in transportation equipment stock.

The inventories-to-shipments ratio, a statistic used to measure the sustainable flow of goods, dipped slightly to 1.29, from June's 1.30 reading.

The article New Factory Orders Fall 2.4% From Record High originally appeared on

Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLo.The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.