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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 98 400 5,162
MORTGAGES 129 530 7,170
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 24 117 1,592
BUILDING PERMITS 0 774 12,068
BANKRUPTCIES 65 309 4,834
BUSINESS LICENSES 27 142 2,125
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 65 373 6,624
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 117 1,490

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