(From Reuters)

New orders for U.S. factory goods rose more than expected in March, while shipments and inventories increased after eight straight months of declines, signs that the downturn in manufacturing was nearing an end.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new orders for manufactured goods increased 1.1 percent after February’s downwardly revised 1.9 percent decline.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory orders rising 0.6 percent in March after a previously reported 1.7 percent decrease in February.

The department also said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft were up 0.1 percent March. They had been reported as unchanged in the previous estimate. These so-called core capital goods are seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans. Read more

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