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U.S. Factory Orders Rise After Six Months of Decline

Orders to factories in the United States increased in February after six straight months of declines, according to the Commerce Department. Orders for manufactured products rose 1.8 percent, more than industry analyst predictions that ranged from a 1.1 percent decline to a 1.5 percent rise. At the same time, Commerce revised the January figure to a 3.5 percent drop; the original drop was 1.9 percent. The increase in total factory orders included a 3.5 percent gain in durable goods, a slight increase from the 3.4 percent increase estimate on March 25; within durable goods, machinery orders rose 12.7 percent, computers and electronic products rose 7.3 percent, and transportation equipment rose 2.7 percent. Non-durable goods -- which includes such products as chemicals, food, and paper -- rose 0.3 percent.

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