US Factory Orders Jump 1.8%
...But indicator of future investments takes a downward turn
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2013 9:39 AM CST
In this Jan. 28, 2013 photo, workers assemble cars along a line at the General Motors Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan.   (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(Newser) – US factory orders increased in December, even though companies trimmed their orders for goods that signal investment plans. The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8% compared to November, when orders had fallen 0.3%. But demand for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans, dipped 0.3%, following strong gains of 3.3% in November and 3% in October.

Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 4.3%, slightly below the 4.6% estimated in a preliminary report. The increase reflected strong gains for military and civilian aircraft. Orders for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, chemicals, and paper, declined 0.3% in December after a 1% drop in November.