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U.S. Factories Suffer Second Drop In Orders

By Agence France-Presse U.S. factories endured the second straight drop in orders in May, government data showed July 2. Factory orders fell by a shallower-than-predicted $1 billion, or 0.3%, to $358.2 billion in May when compared to April, the Commerce Department said. Orders for big-ticket "durable" goods expected to last at least three years slumped 1.8%, including a 2.9% slump in transportation equipment and a 5.7% slide in fabricated metal products. But orders for other "non-durable" goods rose 1.5%. Shipments climbed 0.3% in May. Unfilled orders, a barometer of future activity, were up 0.4%. In April, factory orders had tumbled 1.1%. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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