Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket items showed some strength for the month of April 2008, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Overall, orders for durable goods dipped by 0.5% in April, reflecting steep declines in commercial aircraft and autos. Orders for electrical equipment and appliances surged by 27.8%. Demand in transportation fell by 8%, and there was a 24.4% drop in orders for commercial aircraft and a 3.3% decline in orders for motor vehicles. But demand for primary metals, which includes steel, rose by 2.8%. Machinery orders were up 4.2% and demand for communications equipment rose by 2.2%.
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