US factory orders fell back slightly in August. On a monthly basis, factory orders dropped by 0.2%, while the consensus was looking for a stabilization and the previous figure was downwardly revised from 2.4% M/M to 2.1% M/M. The details show that both durable (-0.1% M/M) and non-durable (-0.3% M/M) orders dropped slightly in August. Weakness in petroleum and coal products contributed to the soft nondurable goods orders. Shipments dropped by 0.2% M/M, while inventories rose by 0.4% M/M. As a result, the inventory/shipments ratio picked up from 1.33 to 1.34. After a strong first quarter, factory orders are hovering broadly sideways during the latest half year.