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Factory Orders: Solid Gains in Feb

April 4, 2017
Bottom Line: Factory orders increased modestly February. The pace of improvement, with solid gains in February and upward revisions to previously reported data, factory orders are now growing at a 16% rate in the last three months . The January/February average is modestly above its Q4 level, suggesting a solid increase in equipment spending will boost Q1 GDP.

Factory Orders ROSE by 1.0% in February, compared with market expectations for an increase of 1.0%.The prior month's gain was revised higher from 1.2% to 1.5%.

Durable goods orders climbed by 1.8%, as previously reported, while nondurable goods orders jumped by 0.2%. Excluding orders for defense goods, civilian aircraft and petroleum products, (so called) core factory orders were nearly unchanged. Factory orders are now 7.3% ABOVE their year ago level but the year-over-year growth rate has risen moderately over the past year (from -3.3% a year ago to the current 7.3%).

The January/February average is modestly above its Q4 level, suggesting a slight increase in equipment spending in Q1.