BUSINESS

US factory orders increased 0.7 per cent in May following 2 months of declines

07/03/2012 10:11 EDT | Updated 09/02/2012 05:12 EDT
WASHINGTON - U.S. factories received more orders in May from April after two consecutive months of declines, as businesses demanded more goods that signal investment plans.

The Commerce Department says factory orders increased 0.7 per cent in May.

Core capital goods, such as machinery and computers, rose 2.1 per cent. That's better than the 1.6 per cent estimated in a preliminary report a week ago and is a good measure of companies' plans to invest.

The increase left orders for durable goods at $469 billion, up 43.5 per cent from their recession low reached in March 2009. But orders are down 2.5 per cent from their post-recession high hit in December.

Manufacturing has slowed this year, hurt by declining consumer and business confidence and weaker global demand.