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THE ECONOMY : Manufacturing Indicator Inches Up in September

October 27, 1994

The indicator: The Commerce Department released figures on factory orders for durable goods.

* What it did: Orders rose 0.1% in September, the second straight increase. But the rise was nowhere near August's revised 6.4% jump, which was led by higher automobile orders. Orders for ships and tanks led the way in September, offsetting declining demand for cars and aircraft and producing a 2.1% advance in all transportation orders.

* What it means: The measure of orders for items expected to last more than three years is seen as a key indicator of the nation's manufacturing strength. September's overall rise was smaller than analysts predicted. But given other recent data, analysts said, they doubt it is a sign of a slowdown. They cited the previous month's surge and a large increase for the year as evidence that the manufacturing sector remains strong.

* Highlights: Durable goods orders totaled a seasonally adjusted $154.7 billion in September, up from $154.6 billion in August. Orders for transportation equipment climbed to $39.6 billion. Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.6% last month. Orders for electronic and electrical equipment were also up, climbing 3.2%, and metals gained 2.7%. Industrial machinery and equipment dipped 2.5% after surging 4.6% the previous month.

Durable Goods

New Orders, in billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted

Sept., '94: 154.7

Source: Commerce Department

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