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Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2004

Factory orders rebound in February

April 1, 2004

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— America's factories saw orders bounce back in February, a sign that manufacturing is continuing to emerge from a slump.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that orders placed with factories increased by 0.3 percent in February, compared with a drop of 0.9 percent in January.

Although February's rebound wasn't as strong as the 1.5 percent increase economists were forecasting, it was still encouraging that factory orders managed to recover some ground last month.

Demand for "durable" goods -- costly manufactured products, including automobiles, household appliances and computers -- rose by 2.5 percent in February. That was an improvement from the 2.6 percent decline registered in January and marked the biggest increase since October.

But "nondurable" goods, such as food and clothing, fell by 2 percent in February, compared with a 1.2 percent increase in January.

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