U.S. factory orders up, durable goods revised higher

WASHINGTON Fri May 2, 2014 10:32am EDT

Workers assemble Motorola phones at the Flextronics plant that will be building the new Motorola smart phone ''MotoX'' in Fort Worth, Texas September 10, 2013. The factory is a high-profile endorsement for ''onshore'' manufacturing in the U.S. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Workers assemble Motorola phones at the Flextronics plant that will be building the new Motorola smart phone ''MotoX'' in Fort Worth, Texas September 10, 2013. The factory is a high-profile endorsement for ''onshore'' manufacturing in the U.S.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New orders for U.S. factory goods rose for a second straight month in March, suggesting strength in manufacturing and the broader economy at the end of the first quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Friday new orders for manufactured goods increased 1.1 percent. February's orders were revised to show a 1.5 percent rise instead of the previously reported 1.6 percent gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new orders received by factories advancing 1.4 percent in March.

Orders excluding the volatile transportation category rose 0.6 percent after advancing 0.7 percent in February.

Manufacturing is pushing higher after a lull in the winter, but a surge in inventories in the second half of 2013 remains an obstacle to achieving a faster pace of factory activity.

A report on Thursday showed a gauge of national factory activity rose in April for a third month. The Commerce Department report showed inventories increased only 0.1 percent in March, slowing from February's 0.7 percent increase.

In March factory orders rose across all categories. Unfilled orders rose 0.6 percent and shipments increased 0.3 percent.

The department also said orders for durable goods, manufactured products expected to last three years or more, increased 2.9 percent instead of the previously reported 2.6 percent rise.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans, increased 3.5 percent, the largest rise since January 2013, rather than the previously reported 2.2 percent.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Comments (7)
Bakhtin wrote:
I guess we can expect all the right-wing deniers to appear here shortly, when they have finished denying that consumer spending is increasing, and then denying that unemployment is falling.

It is funny watching them running round in circles, denying.

May 02, 2014 10:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Bakhtin wrote:
Oh… they have to go and deny that Obamacare is working too. I forgot that one – no wonder they are so busy!

May 02, 2014 10:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
They too busy posting their ‘books are cooked’ drivel on the thread about jobs report.

May 02, 2014 11:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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