New orders for factory goods rose in April, but not enough to reverse the prior month’s plunge, adding to signs of a slowdown in manufacturing activity.
The Commerce Department on Wednesday said new orders for manufactured goods increased 1 percent. March’s orders were revised to show a 4.7 percent decline instead of the previously reported 4.9 percent tumble.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast orders received by factories rising 1.5 percent.
Manufacturing has been hit by a combination of deep government spending cuts and slowing global demand, especially in China and the recession-hit Europe.
Data on Monday showed a gauge of national factory activity contracted in May for the first time in six months, dragged down by declining orders.
This suggests the weakness in factory activity, also highlighted by a drop in industrial production in April, will probably persist for some time.
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