Factory orders drop 0.9 percent in March

May 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The government says orders to U.S. factories fell a larger-than-expected 0.9 percent in March, while factory shipments dropped for a record eighth consecutive month. The report was further evidence of the severity of the recession. The Commerce Department's reported decrease exceeded the 0.6 percent fall economists had been expecting. Shipments of manufactured products tumbled 1.2 percent, an eighth consecutive decline. It marked the longest stretch of decreases on records going back to 1992.

American manufacturers have been battered by a prolonged recession in the United States and spreading weakness overseas that has sharply reduced their foreign sales.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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