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New U.S. Factory Orders Drop Sharply

Compiled By Jill Jusko New factory orders dropped 2.9%, or $9.4 billion, to $320 billion in April from March, marking the biggest decline since November 2001, the Department of Commerce Census Bureau reported June 5. This follows a 2.1% March increase. Shipments decreased by $7.1 billion, or 2.2%, to $320.6 billion, the largest decline since February 2002. Shipments had increased by 1.6% in March. Unfilled orders declined by $600 million, or 0.1%, following a 0.4% March increase, while inventories increased $100 million to $432.6 billion. Data show that new orders for manufactured durable goods in April decreased by 2.3%, a revised figure that represents a slight improvement over the previously published 2.4% decrease. New orders for nondurable manufactured goods dropped 3.5% to $150.8 billion.

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