By John S. McClenahen Less than one week after a closely watched index showed dramatic December growth in U.S. manufacturing activity, the U.S. Commerce Department said that November, the previous month, was pretty poor for American factories. New orders for U.S. manufactured goods, not including semiconductors, decreased $2.7 billion or 0.8% to $319.3 billion in November. It was the third decline in factory new orders in four months and two-tenths of a percentage point larger than economists generally anticipated. In contrast, new orders for manufactured goods grew 1.4% in October. For the first 11 months of 2002, U.S. factory new orders were $3.509 trillion, 1.1% lower than the $3.547 trillion posted for January through November 2001.