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US factory orders drop

United States America,Business/Economy, Wed, 02 May 2012 IANS

Washington, May 2 (IANS) New orders for US manufactured goods declined in March, after an increase in the previous month, a sign of a bumpy economic recovery, the US Commerce Department said Wednesday.


In March, US factory orders fell by 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted $460.5 billion following a revised 1.1 percent increase in February, Xinhua reported.


New orders for durable goods and big-ticket items expected to last at least three years such as computers, cars and machinery decreased by 4 percent to $203 billion in March. This followed a 1.9 percent February increase.


New orders for nondurable goods, including food, paper products, petroleum and coal products, increased 0.5 percent to $257.4 billion for the month.


The recovery of the manufacturing sector has served as a main engine of the US economic growth during past several quarters.


The latest report showed manufacturing sector grew for the 33rd consecutive month in April. The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, down from growth of 3 percent in the last three months of 2011.


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