- THE MAGAZINE
WASHINGTON--The Commerce Department reports January factory orders climbed 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted $325.8 billion after a revised 0.7 percent rise in December. The increase was slightly better than the 1.5 percent analysts expected.
Increases were seen across the board. The category of long-lasting durable goods climbed 2.0 percent after a 0.9 percent rise the previous month.
The inventory-to-shipments ratio, which measures the amount of time it would take to deplete supplies at the current pace of shipments, was 1.33 months, down from 1.37 in December and the lowest level since July 2000.
Another key indicator for manufacturing, the Institute for Supply Management's February Purchasing Managers Index, rose to 54.7 from 49.9 in January, breaking the 50 level to indicate expanding factory activity for the first time since July 2000.