US factory orders rose 1.3 percent in February

AP News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2012 10:08 AM
US factory orders rose 1.3 percent in February

Orders to U.S. factories rose in February, as businesses bought more machinery and equipment.

The Commerce Department says orders to U.S. factories increased 1.3 percent in February following a 1.3 percent decline in January. Orders for core capital goods, a good measure of business investment plans, rose 1.7 percent _ better than a preliminary estimate made last week.

U.S. factory orders have been steadily rising since the recession ended nearly three years. Orders totaled $468.4 billion in February, just 3.4 percent below the previous peak hit in 2008.

Orders rebounded in February after a January decline that followed the expiration of a tax credit on equipment purchases. Economists believe investment spending will do well even without the tax break.