Release Explanation: The value of new orders placed with manufacturers in an economic region for both durable and non-durable goods. Shows the sentiment of the manufacturing side of the economy. GDP, Durable Goods reports are affected. A currency will eventually be affected by these numbers, but only once they filter through to the main releases.
Trade Desk Thoughts: New orders at the nation's factories rose 1.8% in February, the Commerce Department said today. It was the first monthly increase after six straight declines, the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was first published in 1992.
Taken in conjunction with yesterday's reports on home sales and manufacturing, today's report indicates that the rate of economic contraction appears to be slowing, said Matthew Carniol, chief currency strategist at TheLFB-forx.com. Economists are saying the first quarter will likely be the worst in terms of GDP, although employment is still expected to worsen.
Orders for factory goods rose just 0.4% for all of 2008.
Orders for durable goods, those meant to last three years or more, climbed 3.5%, after a 7.8% decrease the previous month. Durables comprise just over half of total factory demand.
Non-durable goods orders rose 0.3% in February following a 0.5% gain a month earlier.
Machinery demand, which includes construction, increased 13%, the biggest jump since 1994 while demand for motor vehicles and parts rose 1.1%.
Bookings for capital goods excluding aircraft and military equipment, a measure of future business investment (CAPEX), surged 7.1%. Shipments in this category, used by the government to calculate gross domestic product, increased 0.6% after plunging 9.4% in January.
Forex Technical Reaction: Stocks are enjoying a strong day after the overnight rise in futures markets. The dollar has weakened against the better-yielding euro, pound and aussie as it gained on the yen.