U.S. Factory Orders Fall Below Expectations

New orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose one-tenth of a percent in March to $378.2 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on May 3. Although a reversal of February's five-tenths percent decline, March's rise was below the three-tenths percent increase economists generally had predicted.

New orders for manufactured durables -- autos, airplanes, appliances and other big ticket items designed to last more than three years -- fell 2.3% in March to $195.1 billion. However, new orders for nondurables increased 2.8% to $183.1 billion.

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