New orders surge during November
The Commerce Department reported a 2.5% rise in new orders for manufactured goods between October and November, after a negligible 0.1% increase the month before. Orders have now risen for six consecutive months.
The Commerce Department reported a 2.5% rise in new orders for manufactured goods between October and November, after a negligible 0.1% increase the month before. Orders have now risen for six consecutive months. Although most economy-watchers expected some continued orders growth during the latest month, the magnitude of the increase caught just about everyone by surprise.
Trends in the NAPM orders index in particular have suggested that we would see some slowdown in this measure's growth rate. Below the surface, the number fell more in line with expectations. Excluding the transportation industry sector, new orders for manufactured goods actually decreased 0.3% during November. Transportation equipment orders shot up 21%, with most of the gain coming in the aircraft group.
Shipments of manufactured goods didn't perform as well as orders in November. Total shipments fell 0.3% to $333.1 billion. However, shipments for aircraft sparked up by 13.6%, a major factor in November's 1.2% gain in overall transportation shipments. Excluding aircraft, transportation shipments fell by 2.5%. With inventories running lean, the modest 2.3% increase in unfilled orders should keep manufacturers busy in upcoming months.
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2012 Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.