Factory orders rose in February

April 3, 2012 at 11:10 AM

WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- U.S. factory orders rose 1.3 percent from January to February with orders reaching to $468.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

Factory orders increased by $6 billion, coming in just shy of expectations. Economists predicted new orders to rise 1.4 percent.

Excluding transportation, new orders rose 0.9 percent.

Shipments of goods, up nine consecutive months, rose 0.1 percent, or by $300 million, to $462.6 billion.

Unfilled orders, up 22 of the past 23 months, rose 1.3 percent to $931.1 billion after rising 0.7 percent in January. Inventories, up 28 of the past 29 months, rose by 0.4 percent, or $2.2 billion, to $616.8 billion.

Following a 0.6 percent rise in January, inventories are now at the highest level since 1992.

Broken down into items expected to last three years or more -- called durable goods -- and items with a shorter lifespan, new orders for durable goods rose 2.4 percent to $212.5 billion.

Durable goods orders were pushed by orders for transportation items, which rose by 3.9 percent to 57.9 billion.

New orders for manufactured non-durable goods rose by 0.4 percent or $1.1 billion to $255.9 billion.

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