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May U.S. Factory Orders Rise Significantly

New orders for manufactured goods from U.S. factories rose in May by 1.2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The increase follows a revised gain for April of 0.5 percent, marking the first consecutive monthly gains in nearly a year. The May numbers reflect the best performance since June 2008, when orders rose 2.1 percent, and are considerably higher than the average industry prediction of 0.8 percent. Orders for durable goods -- those expected to last three years or longer -- rose 1.8 percent, while non-durable items -- such as food and chemicals -- rose 0.7 percent. "The trend over the past few months seems to indicate that things are starting to moderate a bit for manufacturing, but I wouldn't say that things are good," says Marisa Di Natale, a senior economist for Moody's, as quoted by Bloomberg News.

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