Factory Orders Rise in April

Washington, DC, June 3, 2008--New orders at U.S. factories increased by 1.1 percent in April as strong demand for  nondurables offset a decline in orders for expensive durable goods, the Commerce Department said.

The April increase in overall factory orders followed an upwardly revised increase of 1.5 percent in March orders that previously was reported as a 1.3 percent gain.

Excluding transportation, factory orders posted back-to-back 2.6 percent increases in each of March and April.

Shipments of finished goods rose 2.2 percent in April, the strongest monthly increase since December 2006.

Orders for expensive durable goods such as automobiles declined by a revised 0.6 percent.

But orders for nondurable goods such as paper products rose by 2.8 percent in April.

Inventories were flat in April after building for several months in a row, which may allow factories to keep producing.