June 3, 2009

Factory orders rose in April

New orders for manufactured U.S. goods rose in April, increasing 0.7 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

The increase fell short of forecasts. Economists predicted growth of 0.9 percent during the month.

In April, new orders reached $344.4 billion. As of April, new orders were up for two of the past three months.

In March, orders fell 1.9 percent, the bureau said, sharply revising their previous estimate of a 0.9 percent decline.

In the latest month, durable goods orders rose -- tracking orders for items meant to last more than three years -- rose 1.7 percent $160.9 billion, after dropping 2.2 percent in March. Non-durable goods orders fell 0.1 percent to $183.5 billion.

Factory shipments for durable goods, down for nine consecutive months, fell 0.4 percent to $173.8 billion, marking the longest streak of consecutive declines since 1992. Shipments of non-durable goods also fell, down 0.1 percent to $183.5, led by a decrease in chemical products shipments, which fell 0.8 percent.