US factory orders up 1.2% in April

| June 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Commerce Department reported a rise in US factory orders, suggesting the US economy is continuing to grow strongly.

According to the Commerce Department, orders for manufactured goods grew 1.2% in April, easing slightly from the 1.7% rise in March.

The manufacturing sector has been one of the strongest performers, boosted by the recovery in domestic demand and growing export sales.

However, there are concerns that the debt crisis in the euro zone could slow sales in one of America’s largest overseas markets.

Meanwhile, economists are now awaiting today’s jobs data, which is expected to reveal the world’s largest economy added around 500,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate remaining just below the 10% mark.

On Wednesday, US stocks were boosted after the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index rose for the third consecutive month in April boosted by the expiration of a Government tax credit.

Furthermore, the car industry received a boost after US sales at Ford rose 22% last month, while General Motors (GM) were up 17%.

Toyota’s sales grew 7% in May but this was because special offers introduced in March ended.

However, the best performer was Chrysler, recording a 33% increase in year-on-year sales – just one year after emerging from bankruptcy protection.

Overall, sales of auto companies in the US grew more than 19% in May to 1.1 million units from a year ago – the seventh consecutive increase.

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