Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Factory orders in the U.S. jump unexpectedly in April

The 1.1% advance is paced by a demand for petroleum, chemicals.

June 04, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Orders to U.S. factories unexpectedly jumped in April, led by demand for petroleum and chemicals, signaling purchases from abroad are helping sustain manufacturing.

The 1.1% increase followed a 1.5% gain in March that was higher than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said Tuesday in Washington. Bookings excluding cars and airplanes climbed 2.6% for a second month.

Increases in categories such as machinery and electrical equipment indicate that a weaker dollar is making American-made goods more attractive to overseas buyers, helping to keep some factories running. Still, soaring costs for raw materials and a cooling in consumer and business spending will prevent manufacturing from strengthening in coming months.

"This is a solid reading on underlying manufacturing activity," Bear Stearns economists John Ryding and Conrad DeQuadros said in a note to clients. "The consumer and housing, rather than the factory sector, are bearing the brunt of the downturn in the economy."

Economists had forecast orders would decline 0.1%, according to Bloomberg News.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|