Sales at U.S factories rose steadily in November, suggesting the strengthening U.S. and global economies are boosting demand for American goods.
Factory orders, reflecting sales of everything from paper to bulldozers, increased 1.3% in November from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Friday. Sales rose by a similar margin when excluding defense products, a volatile category.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 1.4% gain in overall orders.
Revised figures showed orders in October were stronger than previously thought. Factory sales rose 0.4% that month, instead of falling 0.1% as the agency previously reported.
Factory orders have risen five of the past six months, as increasingly confident consumers and businesses step up purchases of goods broadly.
Orders can be volatile from month to month, but over a broader period they have climbed at a healthy pace. Orders increased 5.8% in January through November compared to the same period a year earlier.
The Commerce Department report on factory orders can be accessed at http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 05, 2018 10:15 ET (15:15 GMT)