March 2021 Headline Manufacturing New Orders Improve

US Census says manufacturing new orders improved month-over-month with unfilled orders again improving. Our analysis shows the rolling averages improved and remain in expansion.

Analyst Opinion of Census Manufacturing Sales

According to the seasonally adjusted data, there was improvement across the board EXCEPT civilian and defence aircraft which significantly declined.

Of course, the year-over-year growth spurt is mostly due to the comparison to the lockdown period one year ago.

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US Census Headline:

  • The seasonally adjusted manufacturing new orders improved 1.1 % month-over-month.
  • Market expected (from Econoday) month-over-month growth of -0.7 % to 3.2 % (consensus 1.3 %).
  • Manufacturing unfilled orders were down 3.2 % year-over-year.

Econintersect Analysis:

  • Unadjusted manufacturing new orders growth accelerated 16.9 % month-over-month, and up 17.6 % year-over-year.
  • Unadjusted manufacturing new orders (but inflation-adjusted) up 9.6 % year-over-year.
  • Three-month rolling new order rolling averages accelerated 5.4 % month-over-month and up 5.6 % year-over-year.
  • Unadjusted manufacturing unfilled orders accelerated 2.5 % month-over-month, and down 3.2 % year-over-year
  • As a comparison to the inflation-adjusted new orders data, the manufacturing subindex of the Federal Reserves Industrial Production growth was down 3.1 % month-over-month, and down 3.8 % year-over-year.

Seasonally Adjusted Manufacturing Value of New Orders - All (red line, left axis), All except Defense (green line, left axis), All with Unfilled Orders (orange line, left axis), and all except transport (blue line, right axis)

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The graph below shows sector growth year-over-year.

Year-over-Year Change Manufacturing New Orders - Unadjusted (blue line) and Inflation Adjusted (red line)

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Now, look at the manufacturing component of industrial production. While it is true that these are slightly different pulse points (inventory not accounted in shipments) - they should not have different trends for long periods of time.

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