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US factory orders slow in March

New orders for US-manufactured goods rose in March but at a slower pace than February, the Commerce Department said Friday.

WASHINGTON: New orders for US-manufactured goods rose in March but at a slower pace than February, the Commerce Department said Friday.

US factory orders rose 1.1 percent in March, slowing from a 1.5 percent gain the prior month.

The February increase was revised slightly downward from 1.6 percent. Analysts had expected March orders to increase 1.6 percent.

Excluding transportation, which tends to be volatile month-over-month, factory orders rose 0.6 percent, holding close to the February gain.

Orders for durable goods, accounting for almost half of factory orders, accelerated. New orders rose 2.9 percent after February's 2.3 percent rise. Orders for long-lasting goods like aircraft, computers and appliances had fallen in January and December.

Orders for non-durable goods dropped 0.6 percent.

The report supported evidence that the US manufacturing sector is slowly improving nearly five years after the economy exited recession.

On Thursday, the Institute for Supply Management said factory activity expanded for the 11th straight month in April, the third month in a row of accelerating growth.

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