Bad Economic Reports? Yes, But They Were Supposed To Be Bad

The bad economic reports pile up. But there is nothing shocking about any of them.

Factory orders and a terrible ISM report are in the news today. But numbers that would have been shocking in January, no longer are.

Factory Orders Plunge Another 13.0%

The Census Department's report on Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders for April was bad, as expected.

New Orders

New orders for manufactured durable goods in April, down three of the last four months, decreased $36.3 billion or 17.7 percent to $168.7 billion, down from the previously published 17.2 percent decrease. This followed a 16.7 percent March decrease. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, led the decrease, $24.3 billion or 48.3 percent to $26.1 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $21.2 billion or 9.0 percent to $215.6 billion.

Shipments

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in April, down three of the last four months, decreased $42.4 billion or 18.2 percent to $191.2 billion, down from the previously published 17.7 percent decrease. This followed a 5.5 percent March decrease. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, led the decrease, $31.7 billion or 43.1 percent to $41.8 billion. Shipments of manufactured nondurable goods, down four consecutive months, decreased $21.2 billion or 9.0 percent to $215.6 billion. This followed a 5.4 percent March decrease. Petroleum and coal products, also down four consecutive months, led the decrease, $11.9 billion or 32.0 percent to $25.4 billion.

Unfilled Orders

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in April, down two consecutive months, decreased $17.6 billion or 1.6 percent to $1,107.6 billion, unchanged from the previously published decrease. This followed a 2.1 percent March decrease. Transportation equipment, also down two consecutive months, led the decrease, $15.7 billion or 2.0 percent to $759.6 billion.

Inventories

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