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US factory orders increased 0.7 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies placed more orders with U.S. factories in May from April, demanding more computers, machinery and other equipment that signal investment plans.

The increase is a welcome sign after two months of declining factory orders. Still, manufacturing has slowed from the start of the year, adding to worries that weaker global growth could weigh on the U.S. economy.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders increased 0.7 percent in May.

And core capital goods, such as machinery and computers, rose 2.1 percent. That’s better than the 1.6 percent estimated in a preliminary report a week ago and is a good measure of companies’ plans to invest.

The increase left orders for durable goods at $469 billion, up 43.5 percent from their recession low reached in March 2009. But orders are down 2.5 percent from their post-recession high hit in December.

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