Wednesday, May 18

US factory orders fall as expected in February

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WASHINGTON — New orders for US-made goods fell in February, likely because of persistent shortages of materials and a shift in spending back to services, but manufacturing remains supported by low inventories at businesses.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that factory orders fell 0.5% in February. Data for January was revised slightly higher to show orders rising 1.5% instead of 1.4% as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory orders would decline 0.5%. ( Reporting by Lucia Mutikani Editing by Paul Simao)