US factory orders up on planes, business spending

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Associated Press

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories orders climbed in November, led by a surge in aircraft demand. And businesses stepped up spending on machinery, computers and other long-lasting goods that signal investment.

The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8 percent in November. That follows a 0.5 percent decrease in October. The index now stands at its highest level on records dating back to 1992.

A 21.8 percent jump in volatile aircraft orders drove the gains. But orders rose in many other categories, a sign of continued strength at factories and growing confidence among companies.

Core capital goods, which are a proxy for business investment, increased 1 percent. Economists watch this category closely because it excludes volatile orders for aircraft and defense equipment.

Demand increased for construction machinery, computers, furniture and motor vehicle parts.

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