Factory orders rose 1.8% in February, following six consecutive monthly decreases, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Thursday. The $6.1 billion increase to $352.2 billion, follows a 3.5 percent drop in January. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.6 percent.
– Shipments, down seven consecutive months, decreased $0.4 billion or 0.1 percent to $365.9 billion. This was the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since 1992 and followed a 2.6 percent January decrease.
– Unfilled orders decreased $10.7 billion or 1.4 percent to $773.2 billion.
– Inventories, down six consecutive months, decreased $6.2 billion or 1.2 percent to $529.7 billion. This was the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since March 2003-January 2004 and followed a 1.1 percent January decrease.