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U.S. factory orders unchanged in December

WASHINGTON — U.S. companies boosted their orders in November for manufactured goods that reflect investment plans even though total orders were unchanged for the month.

Factory orders were flat in November, compared with October when orders had risen 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. Durable goods, everything from autos to steel, rose 0.8 percent while nondurable goods fell 0.6 percent, reflecting falling petroleum prices.

Orders for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans increased a solid 2.6 percent after a 3 percent rise in October which had been the strongest gain in 10 months.

Factories appear to be recovering slowly from a slump earlier in the year although there are still concerns given a weak global economy that is restraining U.S. exports.



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