New orders for manufactured goods in November reached their highest level ever recorded (numbers were first published in 1992), according to a Department of Commerce report [link opens in pdf] released today. Orders increased 1.8% to $498 billion for November, beating out analyst estimates of a 1.6% advance. In October, factory orders took a revised 0.5% dip.
A 21.8% jump in volatile aircraft orders drove the November gains. But orders rose in many other categories, a sign of strength at factories and confidence among companies.
New orders for durable goods increased 3.4% for the third uptick in four months. Investors use durable goods orders as a proxy for manufacturers' longer-term confidence in the economy. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods --such as food products, clothing and paper -- increased 0.3%.
New orders wasn't the only metric to hit a new record since data were first recorded in 1992. Unfilled orders added on 1%, shipments increased 1.8%, and inventories rose 0.2% to all reach new highs.
The inventories-to-shipments ratio, a statistic used to measure the sustainable flow of goods, dropped 0.01 points from October to 1.28 in November.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.