U.S. Factory Orders Up for Third Straight Month
Sep 5, 2003
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Orders to U.S. factories rose for the third straight month in July, offering further evidence of a rebound in the manufacturing sector.

Factory orders increased 1.6 percent to $329.39 billion in July, the Commerce Department said. The July increase followed a revised 1.9-percent rise in June, previously estimated as a 1.7-percent increase.

July durable-goods orders, first reported Aug. 26, were unrevised at an increase of 1 percent.

The factory data was much stronger than Wall Street had expected. Analysts had predicted factory orders would rise by 0.8 percent for the month.

The numbers for factory orders add to recent economic reports pointing to continued firming in the manufacturing sector. The Institute for Supply Management reported recently that manufacturing activity grew for the second straight month.

The July factory orders report showed that nondurable goods orders, which are the primary source of new information in the report, advanced by 2.4 percent, after a revised 1.1-percent rise in June.

Consumer-goods orders rose 3.7 percent in July. Consumer durable-goods orders, items meant to last three years or longer, were up 5 percent, but nondurable consumer goods orders rose by 3.3 percent.

Durable-goods orders excluding defense increased 1.4 percent in July. Orders for computers and electronic products rose 1.5 percent, while orders for primary metals were up 2.1 percent and orders for furniture and related products also rose by 2.1 percent. Machinery orders increased 1.5 percent, while orders for electrical equipment and appliances were unchanged. (Dow Jones)

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