10/05/2017 06:08 EDT | Updated 10/05/2017 06:20 EDT

US factory orders increase 1.2 per cent in August

WASHINGTON — Orders at U.S. factories increased by 1.2 per cent in August, driven by strong gains in aluminum and other metals, industrial machinery and autos.

The Thursday report on last month's gain in manufacturing from the Commerce Department follows a steep drop of 3.3 per cent in July. Recent hurricanes didn't impact the data.

The report suggests U.S. manufacturing is benefiting from a stronger dollar and an improving global economy.

A category that serves as a proxy for business investment climbed a solid 1.1 per cent after a 1.3 per cent increase in July. The gains in business investment show companies are optimistic about future demand from customers.

Manufacturing's health looks likely to continue after a survey released earlier this week found that factory activity expanded in September at the fastest pace in 13 years.