We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Factory Orders?

By Andrew Burger
Updated Feb 01, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Factory orders is a monthly indicator of economic conditions in the manufacturing sector that estimates the total dollar value of new orders, unfilled orders, orders shipped, and total inventory from manufacturers across the United States. Considered a leading indicator of economic activity, consistently rising factory orders indicates an expanding economy and the possibility of rising inflation; consistently declining factory orders indicates a slowdown, or contraction, in economic activity. Based on a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, factory orders are divided into two major categories: durable goods orders and non-durable goods orders. Durable goods are goods that can be used for at least three years, such as cars, appliances, business equipment, and bricks. Non-durable goods includes food, clothing, tobacco and other consumer products.

The U.S. Department of Commerce issues two press releases each month based on the data collected for the factory orders report. The Advance Report on Durable Goods Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders, more commonly known as the durable goods report, is released about 18 working days after the end of each month. The complete factory orders report, officially known as the Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, & Orders report, is released about 23 days after the end of each month.

The U.S. Census Bureau collects data reported by manufacturers with $500 million or more in annual shipments. By definition, the manufacturing sector is made up of businesses that use chemical, mechanical, or physical means to transform materials, substances, or components into new products. The manufacturers may be units or divisions of larger corporations whose business is manufacturing particular types of products or product lines or manufacturers of goods in any one of 89 industry categories. The six-digit North American Industry Classification (NAICS) is used to categorize the data.

Based on the raw data from the Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) compiles and computes the factory orders series of economic indicators, including adjusting the data for seasonality. The BEA also uses this data to estimate Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the standard measure of the total output of goods and services in the U.S. economy. Factory orders data is also used by the Federal Reserve Board, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Council of Economic Advisers to formulate fiscal and monetary policy. The information is also used widely by economists, financial industry professionals, and investors in order to analyze current economic conditions and forecast future economic conditions, performance, and economic growth rates.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.