Factory orders rise again

U.S. factory orders rose for a third consecutive month in April, adding to evidence that manufacturing is regaining momentum after a harsh winter, according to the latest report by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Orders increased 0.7 percent in April, following increases of 1.5 percent in March and 1.7 percent in February.

The improvements occurred after large declines in orders in January and December.

The report on factory orders showed that demand for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, increased 0.6 percent in April. Orders for nondurable goods such as paper and chemicals rose 0.7 percent in April after a decline of 0.5 percent in March.

Economists predict factory activity will gain strength in coming months, helped by rising consumer demand and a rebound in export sales, according to a report by The Associated Press.

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