Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Orders for Manufactured Goods Rise 0.1 Percent in September

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Orders for Manufactured Goods Rise 0.1 Percent in September

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - Orders to U.S. factories for manufactured goods edged up a weak 0.1 percent in September due to rising oil prices rather than increased demand, the government said Wednesday. But excluding oil, orders fell 1.1 percent.

Even with petroleum costs pushing up the value of orders, the level was the lowest since orders fell 1.9 percent last June. Factory orders are a key economic barometer of manufacturing industry plans. A decrease may forecast a slump in production and job layoffs.

The U.S. Commerce Department said orders for both durable and non-durable goods totaled a seasonally adjusted $244.5 billion following a 1.7 percent advance a month earlier.

``Price increases in the petroleum refining industry continued to heavily influence the data,'' the report said. ``Excluding petroleum, orders were down 1.1 percent.''

The department also blamed most of the August increase on substantial petroleum price increases following the disruption in world oil markets by the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Non-durable goods orders, which include petroleum, advanced 1.6 percent to $119.3 billion in September. They had jumped 4.7 percent after the Iraqi invasion following a 0.2 percent gain in July.

But excluding the oil factor, non-durable orders were down 0.7 percent.

Orders for durable goods - ``big-ticket items expected to last more than three years - fell 1.4 percent to $125.2 billion after a 0.9 percent decline in August. It was the third drop in four months.

The durable goods orders were slightly improved over the 1.7 percent decline first reported last week. But the fall still suggested a further production and employment slump in the industrial sector, which already has lost 500,000 jobs since January 1989. …

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