April 2, 2009

Factory orders turn up

New orders for manufactured U.S. goods increased for the first time in seven months in February, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.

New orders rose 1.8 percent, or $6.1 billion, to $352.2 billion, the government said.

Durable goods, comprised of items expected to last three years or more, rose 3.5 percent or $5.6 billion to $164.7 billion after a 7.8 percent decline posted in January.

Non-durable goods orders rose 0.3 percent or $0.5 billion to $187.4 billion.

Factory shipments for durable goods, also down for seven months, continued to decline, dropping 0.5 percent to $178.5 billion. Non-durable goods shipments, increased 0.3 percent to $187.4 billion, with a 2.2 percent rise in chemical product shipments, the report said.

Durable goods inventories fell 1.1 percent after a 1.1 percent increase in January. Non-durable goods inventories fell 1.13 percent, led by a decrease of 3.9 percent in coal and petroleum products.