WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies placed fewer orders with U.S. factories in June from May, signaling further weakness with manufacturing.
The Commerce Department says factory orders fell 0.5 percent in June, the third decline in four months. Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, dropped 1.7 percent. Demand fell for heavy machinery and computers.
Orders to U.S. factories in June totaled $465.8 billion, up 42.5 percent from the recession low hit in March 2009.
Manufacturing has helped drive economic growth since the recession ended three years ago. But it has slowed sharply in recent months, along with the broader economy.
Demand for long-lasting goods, items such as autos and airplanes, increased 1.3 percent in June. Demand for non-durable goods such as petroleum products, fell 2 percent.