US factory orders up 1.8 per cent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) - US factory orders increased in December even though companies trimmed their orders for goods that signal investment plans.

The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8 per cent in December compared to November, when orders had fallen 0.3 per cent.

Demand for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans, dipped 0.3 per cent in December following strong gains of 3.3 per cent in November and 3 percent in October.

Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 4.3 per cent, slightly below the 4.6 per cent estimated in a preliminary report. The increase reflected strong gains for military and civilian aircraft.

Orders for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, chemicals and paper, declined 0.3 in December after a 1 per cent drop in November.