US durable goods orders up 0.8 pct., led by defense spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting goods rose at a modest pace last month, but the gain was driven entirely by demand for military aircraft. Excluding transportation equipment, orders fell.

The Commerce Department says that durable goods orders rose 0.8 percent in November, following a sharp drop of 4.3 percent the previous month when orders for commercial and military aircraft plunged. Orders, excluding transportation, dropped 0.3 percent. A category that reflects business spending plans declined 0.6 percent, the third drop in four months.

The figures suggest that U.S. factory output, while mostly solid, may slow in the coming months. The Trump administration’s trade battles have caused many U.S. trading partners to impose tariffs on American goods. Exports of U.S. manufactured products fell sharply in the July-September quarter.

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