Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Factory Orders

What it is:

Factory orders are the dollar value of orders for goods from factories.

How it works (Example):

The U.S. Department of Commerce reports the amount of new factory orders every month. The information is divided into four parts: new orders, unfilled orders, shipments and inventories.

The report includes information about durable goods and nondurable goods. Factory order data is often not very surprising, if only because the report of durable goods orders comes out one or two weeks earlier.

Why it Matters:

Factory orders are an economic indicator. When factory orders increase, the economy is usually expanding as consumers demand more goods and services (which in turn require retailers and suppliers to order more things from factories). Note that increases in factory orders could also mean that inflation is just around the corner. When factory orders decrease, the economy is usually contracting (there is less demand for goods and services and thus less need to reorder supplies).