WASHINGTON - For March, new orders for manufactured goods increased 3.1 percent to $400.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported in its Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3) report released Wednesday.
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New orders for durable goods rose 3.7 percent to $215.2 billion. New orders for nondurable goods increased 2.3 percent to $185 billion.
After decreasing for the past two months, shipments of durable goods rose 0.8 percent to $207.8 billion. Nondurable goods shipments were up 2.3 percent to $185 billion. The rise in nondurable goods was due mainly to petroleum and coal products, which rose 11 percent to $36 billion.
Unfilled orders for durable goods increased 1.8 percent to $717.3 billion, reaching its highest level since the series began.
Inventories for durable goods continued a thirteen-month trend, rising 0.2 percent to $298.5 billion. Inventories for nondurable goods followed a three-month trend and rose 0.2 percent to $185.5 billion. As was the case with nondurable shipments, nondurable inventories’ rise was due to coal and petroleum, which were up 2 percent to $28 billion.
Materials and supplies dipped 0.1 percent in both durable and nondurable goods. Work in process was up 0.1 percent in durable goods and 0.3 percent in nondurable goods. Finished goods rose 0.6 percent in durable goods and 0.2 percent in nondurable goods.