What is the difference between the Nondurable Goods Industries Shipments (VSMNM.US) and New Orders (NOMNM.US) as reported in the monthly M3 report by the U.S. Census Bureau (BOC)?
Numerically, there is no difference between the two series. The U.S. Census Bureau defines companies within the "nondurable goods industries" to have zero inventory, that is, they ship goods immediately after receiving an order. Hence, the dollar values of shipments and new orders are equal for every period.
The time series VSMNM.US and NOMNM.US are reported in tables 1 and 2 of the monthly Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) report.
Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3)