US factory orders rise more than expected

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More signs that the US manufacturing sector is regaining its momentum, with factory orders rising for the second consecutive month thanks to a boost in orders for transportation equipment.

Factory orders rose 1.2 per cent in January, ahead of the 1 per cent advance that economists had forecast, the Commerce Department said on Monday. That followed a 1.3 per cent rise the previous month.

Manufacturing, which was hamstrung by the strength of the US dollar and a downturn in crude prices during the first half of last year is making a comeback, with the ISM purchasing manager’s index hitting its highest level since August 2014 last month.

Separately, a final reading of capital goods orders excluding aircrafts, a proxy for business investment in big-ticket items, slid 0.1 per cent in January from the previous month, when it declined a steeper 0.4 per cent, the Commerce Department said on Monday.

However, headline durable goods rose 2 per cent in January, following a 1.8 per cent rise previously.

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