US factory orders up 1.8 percent in December

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Boeing employees work on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on one of the assembly lines February 14, 2011 at the company's factory in Everett, Washington. U.S. factory orders increased in December even though companies trimmed their orders for goods that signal investment plans. The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8 percent in December compared to November, when orders had fallen 0.3 percent.

The U.S. Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.8 percent in December compared to November, when orders had fallen 0.3 percent.

Demand for core capital goods, a category considered a proxy for business investment plans, dipped 0.3 percent in December following strong gains of 3.3 percent in November and 3 percent in October.

Orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, rose 4.3 percent, slightly below the 4.6 percent estimated in a preliminary report. The increase reflected strong gains for military and civilian aircraft. Orders for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, chemicals and paper, declined 0.3 in December after a 1 percent drop in November.

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