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Factory Orders Increase Unexpectedly

October 29, 1998|Associated Press

Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket durable goods rose in September for the fourth consecutive month, demonstrating resiliency in the face of a world financial slump that has devastated U.S. export sales. Orders rose unexpectedly, by 0.9%, to a seasonally adjusted $192.1 billion, the Commerce Department said. Economists had expected about a 1% drop. Orders for military goods soared while orders in another volatile category, aircraft, fell sharply. Excluding those sectors, orders rose 1.1% last month after a 1.9% drop in August. A closely watched sub-sector--capital goods, except for military goods and aircraft--jumped 6.3%, the best gain in a year. This covers business investment spending on everything from turbines to computers. Shipments of durable goods, a measure of current production, rose 1.5% in September, the fourth consecutive increase.

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