U.S. Factory Orders in Surprise Rebound

Factory orders, excluding the transportation sector, rose 2.4% in November, the strongest gain since March.

Orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose unexpectedly in November, official data showed on Jan. 4, in the latest sign of strength in a key sector leading the economic recovery.

The Commerce Department reported factory orders rose 0.7% following a decline in October, while most analysts expected them to fall 0.3%.

The department said durable goods orders fell a revised 0.3% in November, slashing its late December estimate of 1.3%.

That decline in orders for durable goods -- big-ticket items such as computers and cars -- had been due mainly to a more than 50 % plunge in aircraft orders.

Excluding the transportation sector, which can be volatile, factory orders rose 2.4% in November, the strongest gain since March.

Orders for nondurable goods led the gains, up 1.7% from October.

Over the first 11 months of 2010, factory orders were up a robust 12.3 % from the same period a year ago.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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