WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories advanced by a modest amount in March, reflecting strength in demand for military hardware and machinery.
The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.1 percent, rebounding from a 1.9 percent drop in February. It was only the second increase in total orders in the past five months as American manufacturers have struggled with a weak global economy, a strong dollar and a big fall in oil prices.
A key category that serves as a proxy for business investment posted a tiny 0.1 percent rise in March after a 2.7 percent decline in February.
Orders for durable goods such as autos and appliances rose 0.8 percent. Demand for nondurable goods such as paper and chemicals rose 1.5 percent.