This Morning in Metals: New orders for manufactured goods rise in July

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This morning in metals news: new orders for manufactured goods posted an increase in July from the previous month; meanwhile, U.S. productivity rose by 2.1% in Q2 2021; and, lastly, the U.S. goods and services trade deficit fell from June to July.

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New orders for manufactured goods rise 0.4%

automotive production

Anastasiia Usoltceva/Adobe Stock

New orders for manufactured goods rose by 0.4% in July, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

Furthermore, new orders for manufactured goods have increased in 14 of the last 15 months. July orders amounted to a value of $508.1 billion.

New orders had increased by 1.5% in June.

Productivity jumps 2.1%

U.S. nonfarm labor productivity increased by 2.1% in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Hours worked increased by 6.0%. Meanwhile, output increased by 8.1%.

Labor productivity is calculated by “dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked by all persons.” The second quarter marked the fourth straight quarter of increases in both hours worked and output.

In addition, manufacturing sector labor productivity rose 8.0%. Manufacturing sector output rose by 5.5%, while hours worked declined by 2.3%.

Trade deficit shrinks in July

In the world of trade, the U.S. goods and services trade deficit fell to $70.1 billion in July, down from $73.2 billion in June, the Census Bureau reported.

July exports increased by $2.8 billion to $212.8 billion. Meanwhile, imports dipped by $0.4 billion to $282.9 billion.

“The July decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $5.5 billion to $87.7 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $2.4 billion to $17.7 billion,” the report added. “Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $131.0 billion, or 37.1 percent, from the same period in 2020. Exports increased $205.0 billion or 16.8 percent. Imports increased $336.0 billion or 21.3 percent.”

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