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VOL. 126 | NO. 237 | Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Factory Orders Fall for 2nd Straight Month

DEREK KRAVITZ | AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Companies decreased their overall orders to U.S. factories in October for the second straight month, evidence that the economy remains weak despite other signs of improvement.

The Commerce Department said Monday, Dec. 5, that total factory orders fell 0.4 percent. September’s modest 0.3 percent increase was also revised to show a 0.1 percent drop.

Demand for so-called core capital goods, a good proxy for business investment plans, fell 0.8 percent. Still, that’s after two months of solid increases.

Factory orders can vary greatly from month to month. A big reason for October’s decline was a large drop in orders for commercial aircraft, a volatile sector that fell nearly 17 percent.

Analysts say October’s report offered some positive news: manufacturers increased their stockpiles 0.9 percent in October after more modest increases in previous months.

The report covers both durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, and nondurable goods, products such as paper, chemicals and clothing.

Orders for durable goods fell 0.5 percent, reflecting the weakness in commercial aircraft. Orders for nondurable goods were down 0.3 percent. And defense industries reported a steep 21.1 percent drop in new orders for goods such as missiles, aircraft and small arms.

Manufacturing has been showing signs of rebounding after slowing earlier this year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 74 312 15,378
MORTGAGES 125 389 20,168
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 86 3,972
BUILDING PERMITS 431 872 36,714
BANKRUPTCIES 54 232 14,575
BUSINESS LICENSES 9 64 5,193
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 71 312 22,129
MARRIAGE LICENSES 10 83 4,746

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