US factory orders gain for fourth straight month

Washington (AFP) –


New orders for US manufactured goods rose a fourth consecutive month, with civilian aircraft orders nearly doubling, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Orders rose a solid 2.7 percent to $469.4 billion, considerably faster than the pace of the prior two months and surpassing an analyst consensus forecast, which had called for a 2.5 percent increase.

For the first 10 months of the year, however, orders were 2.0 percent lower than the same period in 2015.

Excluding the defense sector, however, the October increase would have been an even higher 2.9 percent. But without the transportation sector, which has also risen four months in a row, the increase would have been only 0.8 percent, according to the department.

Orders for civilian aircraft and parts jumped 93.8 percent to $21.8 billion, reflecting in part the Boeing deal to sell 14 freighters to shipping giant UPS.

But mining and oilfield machinery sank 15 percent to $792 million, reflecting the recent slump in new oilfield activity on sharply reduced crude prices.

Orders for cars, parts and trailers fell 0.7 percent to $28.8 billion but defense aircraft orders saw a sharp 32.5 percent increase to $3.7 billion.