Factory orders up in December

Orders placed with U.S. factories increased less than forecast in December, reflecting a drop in nondurable goods that overshadowed gains in construction equipment and computers.

Bookings climbed 1.8 percent after a revised 0.3 percent drop in November that was initially reported as unchanged, figures from the Commerce Department showed Monday. Demand for durable goods increased 4.3 percent, little changed from the 4.6 percent gain estimated last week, while nondurables dropped 0.3 percent on declines in petroleum and tobacco.

“Manufacturing is growing again, and if overseas demand recovers, it will grow faster still,” Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York, said in a research note before the report.

— From wire reports

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