January 5, 2018 / 3:18 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. factory orders rise for fourth straight month

File Photo: Robotic arms spot welds on the chassis of a Ford Transit Van under assembly at the Ford Claycomo Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Dave Kaup

(Reuters) - New orders for U.S.-made goods increased in November for a fourth straight month, but business spending on equipment appeared to be cooling after robust growth in 2017.

Factory goods orders jumped 1.3 percent amid rising demand for transportation and electrical equipment, the Commerce Department said on Friday. October’s report was revised to show orders advancing 0.4 percent instead of the previously reported 0.1 percent dip.

Economists had forecast factory orders increasing 1.1 percent in November.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which are seen as a measure of business spending plans, fell 0.2 percent in November instead of slipping 0.1 percent as reported last month. Orders for these so-called core capital goods increased 0.8 percent in October.

Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate business equipment spending in the gross domestic product report, fell 0.1 percent in November instead of increasing 0.3 percent as reported last month. Core capital goods shipments surged 1.2 percent in October.

Business spending soared last year as companies anticipated a massive cut in the corporate income tax rate, which has since been passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

The overhaul of the tax code, the most sweeping in 30 years, slashed the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Robust business spending, recent weakness in the dollar and a strengthening global economy are boosting manufacturing, which makes up about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.

In November, orders for machinery fell 1.0 percent after rising 2.8 percent in October. But orders for transportation equipment rebounded 4.1 percent after declining 4.0 percent in October. Orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components rose 0.6 percent.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao

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