The Straits Times
Published on Dec 05, 2012

US factory orders rise for second straight month in Oct


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - New orders received by US factories unexpectedly rose in October as demand for motor vehicles and a range of other goods offset a slump in defense and civilian aircraft orders, a hopeful sign for the manufacturing sector.

The Commerce Department said orders for factory goods increased 0.8 per cent after a revised 4.5 per cent rise in September. It was the second straight month of gains and beat economists' expectations for a flat reading.

Factory orders were previously reported to have jumped 4.8 per cent in September.

Manufacturing, the pillar of the recovery from the 2007-09 recession, has lost momentum in recent months as fears of the "fiscal cliff" and slowing global demand slammed the economy.