November factory activity quickens, Sandy a factor: Markit

NEW YORK, Mon Dec 3, 2012 — Rising demand from domestic and foreign customers helped U.S. manufacturing grow in November at its quickest pace in six months, an industry survey showed on Monday, though hiring remained sluggish.

Financial information firm Markit said its U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 52.8 last month, rebounding from a more than three-year low of 51.0 in October. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Firms said Hurricane Sandy, which hit in late October, was partly responsible for a jump in domestic new orders, suggesting the pace of growth could slow in the months ahead.

“Manufacturing looks likely to provide only a modest contribution at best to economic growth in the final quarter of the year and, alongside signs of renewed weakness in consumer spending, suggests that U.S. growth will have slowed markedly from the 2.7 percent pace seen in the third quarter,” said Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.

The rate of output growth was the quickest since May and the index’s employment component edged up to 52.6 from 51.8. But the pace of hiring was below the average seen over the last 34 months.

Factory orders post largest fall since recession; gains in orders outside transporation

WASHINGTON, Thu Oct 4, 2012 – Demand for U.S. factory goods in August fell by the most since January 2009, but the second straight month of gains in orders outside transportation hinted at a less rapid loss of momentum in manufacturing activity.

The Commerce Department said new orders for manufactured goods tumbled 5.2 percent – the biggest drop since the recession – dragged down by a slump in demand for transportation equipment that was telegraphed in last week’s report on orders for long-lasting manufactured goods.

Factory orders had risen 2.8 percent in July and economists had expected them to drop 5.8 percent in August. Excluding transportation, orders rose 0.7 percent in August after rising by the same margin the prior month.

Manufacturing has carried the economic recovery and while activity has cooled significantly in recent months, there are so far little signs of a hard landing.

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national manufacturing activity last month climbed above the 50 mark – which separates contraction from expansion – after three straight months below 50.

The Commerce Department report showed orders for transportation equipment tumbled 34.9 percent in August on sharply weak orders for civilian and defense aircraft.

Factory orders post surprise fall in April

WASHINGTON, Mon Jun 4, 2012 – New orders for factory goods fell in April for the third time in four months as demand slipped for everything from cars and machinery to computers, the latest worrisome sign for the economy.

The Commerce Department said on Monday orders for manufactured goods dropped 0.6 percent during the month. The government also revised its estimate for new orders in March to show a steeper decline.

Economists had forecast orders rising 0.2 percent in April.

The report showed broad weakness in a sector that has carried the economic recovery, adding to a growing body of soft economic data in the United States.

“Obviously it’s a slowdown in the economy,” said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

The Labor Department on Friday reported that job creation slowed in May for the fourth straight month. Also that day, the Institute for Supply Management said the pace of growth in manufacturing slowed modestly in May, although the ISM’s own gauge of new orders rose to its highest in over a year.

The Commerce Department report showed new orders for motor vehicles and parts fell 0.5 percent in April.

An increase in new orders for civilian aircraft buoyed the overall transportation sector.

Outside transportation, orders dropped 1.1 percent, with machinery down 2.9 percent and orders for computers and electronics off by 0.8 percent. The government also revised downward its estimate for new orders of long-lasting manufactured goods in April.

U.S. stock prices declined as investors fretted about signs of economic weakness around the globe and Europe’s intensifying debt crisis.

Factory orders for March suffer largest drop in three years

WASHINGTON, Wed May 2, 2012 – New orders for U.S. factory goods in March recorded their biggest decline in three years as demand for transportation equipment and a range of other goods slumped, government data showed on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department said orders for manufactured goods dropped 1.5 percent after a revised 1.1 percent rise in February.

Economists had forecast orders falling 1.6 percent after a previously reported 1.3 percent increase in February.

While the report showed broad weakness in March in a sector that has carried the economic recovery, anecdotal evidence suggests factories continued to expand as the second quarter started.

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national manufacturing activity climbed to a 10-month high in April, with a measure of new orders received by factories the highest in a year, data showed on Tuesday.

The Commerce Department report showed orders for transportation equipment tumbled 12.6 percent in March on weak orders for civilian aircraft. Orders for motor vehicles and parts was flat in March after rising 1 percent in February.

Auto sales surged early in the year reflecting pent-up demand from households after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused disruptions to auto production in 2011 and left dealers without models that consumers wanted to buy.

Industry data on Tuesday showed motor vehicle sales increased at an annual rate of 14.4 million units in April after rising at a 14.3 million unit pace in March, suggesting fundamental strength in the sector.

Strong auto sales buoyed consumer spending in the first quarter and contributed significantly to the economy’s 2.2 percent growth pace during that period.

Deere & Co. to build engine factory for equipment manufactured in China

MOLINE, Ill. ― Deere & Co. said today it will build a factory to manufacture engines for John Deere equipment that is built in China. The factory represents an investment of approximately $60 million and will be located in the Tianjin Economic and Development Area, in which Deere already has other facilities.

“John Deere aspires to deliver great products to our customers around the world,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer of Deere & Co. “This engine factory will allow John Deere to deliver increased technology for China customers while leveraging enterprise investments and engineering resources in China.”

This is the company’s sixth engine factory worldwide, all which are strategically located to support facilities that manufacture John Deere’s agricultural, construction and forestry equipment.

Deere has engine factories in Argentina, France, India, Mexico and the United States. Deere estimates the factory in China could start production in late 2013.

Jean Gilles, senior vice president, John Deere Power Systems, said, “We believe the integration of John Deere engines into the equipment we manufacture provides Deere with a competitive advantage because our customers have a highly integrated machine and they experience improved performance for fuel economy, emissions and noise reduction.”