1.5 PERCENT DECLINE REPORTED
IN US FACTORY ORDERSOrders for goods from the nation's factories fell 1.5 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted $237.4 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday, primarily because of a sharp drop in orders for military items, including aircraft.
The June drop in total orders was steeper than forecast by economists, who had expected a 1.0 percent decline. It followed a revised 2.2 percent rise in orders during May.
Excluding defense equipment, factory orders were down 0.7 percent in June after a 1.5 percent gain in May, the department said.
A key component of factory orders, durable goods orders, fell 2.8 percent in June after rising 4.1 percent in May. Durables are items like refrigerators and automobiles, designed to last at least three years.
Since orders for durable goods account for about half of the factory orders index, any change in volume strongly affects the monthly figures, and large swings are not unusual.
ECONOMISTS SEE RISE
IN JULY PAYROLL JOBS
WASHINGTON - Gains in service jobs more than offset another drop in manufacturing jobs, causing U.S. non-farm payroll employment in July to rise about 112,000, excluding layoffs of workers hired for the 1990 Census, economists estimated Wednesday, anticipating the official data.
The economists also estimated the unemployment rate up 0.1 percentage point to 5.3 percent.