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VOL. 41 | NO. 13 | Friday, March 31, 2017

US factory orders up 1 percent in February

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories rose in February amid a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, but a key category that tracks business investment spending slipped for the first time in five months.

The Commerce Department says factory orders increased 1 percent in February after a 1.5 percent gain in January. Much of the strength stems from a second straight month of surging demand for commercial aircraft. But a key category that serves as a proxy for business investment slipped 0.1 percent. It was the first decline since investment orders fell by 1.5 percent in September.

American manufacturers are slowly recovering from a weak patch caused by falling demand for American exports, reflecting weak economies overseas and the strength of the dollar.