VOL. 126 | NO. 237 | Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Factory Orders Fall for 2nd Straight Month
DEREK KRAVITZ | AP Economics Writer
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.
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