US March factory orders post strongest level in 8 months
The increase in factory orders was reportedly driven primarily by higher demand for transportation equipment as the data also showed that factory orders excluding transportation were mostly steady after increasing 0.1% in February.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which is a measure of business confidence and spending plans, rose 0.1% after posting a decrease of 0.5% in February.
Meanwhile, according to a separate report released by the US Commerce Department, US economic growth slowed to 0.2% in the first quarter after growing 2.2% in the last quarter of 2014. First quarter GDP growth fell below economists’ forecasts, which called for a growth rate of 1% in a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters. The deceleration in the economy was attributed to lower exports linked to a stronger dollar as well as slower growth in major overseas economies, especially in Asia.
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