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Key Economic Indicators
Forex Education:  Key US Economic Indicators

Factory Orders

Importance (A-F): This release merits a D+.
  • Source: The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce.
  • Release Time: 10:00 ET around the first business day of the month (data for two months prior).
  • Raw Data Available At: http://www.census.gov/ftp/pub/indicator/www/m3/index.htm
  • Factory orders consist of the earlier announced durable goods report plus non-durable goods orders. The report is very predictable with nondurables the only new component. Nondurables consist of such items as food and tobacco products which grow at a fairly consistent monthly rate, so that market forecasts for this report are far more accurate than for the durable orders report. In addition to seeing nondurables for the first time, the market also watches for revisions to the durable orders data, which can be significant. At present, durable goods orders sum to about 54% of total orders.

    The final piece of new information in this report is factory inventories - the first glimpse at the inventory picture each month (wholesales inventories are typically released a week later, with retail inventories released a few days after wholesale inventories). Though the inventory figure is not a market-mover, economists use this number to help forecast inventories in the quarterly GDP report.

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