Government Figures Give No Clear Sign Of Improvement In Economy
The Commerce Department says orders for computer products fell 6.7% last month; shipments rose 3.4%.
Another government report on activity in the IT industry fails to give a clear sign whether the tech economy is improving or not.
The Commerce Department on Wednesday reported a seasonally adjusted 6.7% decline in orders for computers and related products last month. That follows a minute 0.1% increase in June. Shipment of computer wares rose 3.4% in July, reversing declines of 0.9% and 9.8% the previous two months.
In more recent economic recoveries, the IT manufacturing sector performed much better than all industries combined, providing a catalyst for an overall economy. Now, the difference is marginal; these days, IT more or less mirrors other industrial sectors. For instance, overall orders for durable goods--manufactured items designed to last three years or more--rose 1.7% in July, following a 1.1% increase in June. Year-to-year, durable goods orders rose 12.4%. By comparison, orders for computer products rose 13% this past year. Similarly, overall durable goods shipments rose 10.7% in the year ending July vs. a 14.3% increase for computer wares.
IT manufacturers appear to be quickly moving product through their warehouses. The number of unfilled orders fell 3% in July, as inventories increased only 1.7%. For the year, backlog in orders rose 0.8% and inventories rose 1.7%. That contrasts with a 9.7% annual increase in unfilled orders and a 3.7% rise in inventories for all durable goods.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.