May machine orders excluding volatile ones dropped 1.4 percent on the month. Expectations were for an increase of 2.6 percent. From a year ago, orders tumbled 12.7 percent after sliding 8.9 percent in April. Manufacturing orders were down 6.4 percent while nonmanufacturing orders (excluding volatile ones) were 0.3 percent lower. Orders from overseas were down 14.8 percent. Total orders plummeted 11.5 percent.
The total value of new private-sector purchase orders placed with manufacturers for machines, excluding ships and utilities. It is a leading indicator of production. Rising purchase orders signal that manufacturers will increase activity as they work to fill the orders.
It is a leading indicator of production. Rising purchase orders signal that manufacturers will increase activity as they work to fill the orders. The importance of machinery orders cannot be overstated given the economy's dependence on exports. The purpose of these data is to get a picture of machinery manufacturers' order books and to collect basic material for analyzing the direction of the economy through an early understanding of trends in capital investment in machinery.