U.S. Factory Orders Fall for Second Straight Month

New orders for manufactured goods drop 0.6% to $466 billion.

Orders to U.S. factories fell for a second consecutive month in April, official data showed Monday providing new evidence of a manufacturing slowdown.

The Commerce Department reported new factory orders dropped 0.6% from March, instead of an 0.1% rise expected by most analysts.

The March decline in orders was revised sharply, to 2.1% from an initial 1.5% estimate.

The latest numbers confirmed a weakening in the manufacturing sector, which had been a key source of activity helping to drive the economy's recovery from the deep 2008-2009 recession.

The slowdown in industrial production was a key factor in economic growth decelerating to a 1.9% annual pace in the first quarter from 3.0% in the fourth quarter.

Excluding transportation equipment, which can be volatile month-on-month, factory orders dropped 1.1% in April, the Commerce Department said.

On Friday, the ISM purchasing managers index showed manufacturing growth eased again in May on falling prices and slower orders.

Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse

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