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US factory orders growth slows in April

New orders for US manufactured goods rose for the third consecutive month in April, lifted by defence orders, but the pace of gains slowed, according to government data released on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON: New orders for US manufactured goods rose for the third consecutive month in April, lifted by defence orders, but the pace of gains slowed, according to government data released on Tuesday.

Factory orders rose 0.7 per cent to US$499.8 billion, the highest level since the current data series was started in 1992, the Commerce Department said.

The March increase was upwardly revised to 1.5 per cent, from 1.1 per cent, following February's 1.7 per cent gain.

The April gain was slightly higher than analysts' average estimate of 0.5 per cent.

Excluding defence, factory orders fell 0.1 per cent in April.

Stripping out transportation equipment orders, which tend to be volatile month-over-month, factory orders rose 0.5 per cent.

Defence aircraft orders leaped 13.2 per cent in April, while non-defence aircraft orders fell 7.9 per cent.

Orders for ships and boats soared 56.8 per cent.

Orders for durable goods, which account for nearly half of factory orders, increased 0.6 per cent, slowing sharply from a 3.7 per cent jump in March.

"Despite a surge in defence orders in April, transportation is the driving force behind the headline numbers," said Kyle Hillman of Moody's Analytics.

"Boeing had a strong first quarter and domestically produced auto sales have bested a 12.5 million-unit annualised pace in March and April for the first time since 2006."

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