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Factory Orders Higher Than Expected

By John S. McClenahen In the first week of January 2005, data for November 2004 U.S. factory orders may seem to be dated. But they are the latest the U.S. Commerce Department has available. Released on Jan. 4, they show overall new orders for November up 1.2% to $377.4 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. Economists generally had expected a smaller increase of 1%. However, the amount of the month-to-month increase in new orders for manufactured durables, including commercial aircraft, appliances and machinery, was less than the department first estimated. The latest data show new orders for durables up $2.7 billion or 1.4% to $198.2 billion in November; previously Commerce put the increase at $3.1 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurables increased $1.8 billion or 1% in November to $179.2 billion.

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