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Factory orders increased by 1.9% in July, roughly in line with expectations, according to a report from the Commerce Department on Friday.
Economists had expected a gain of 2%, according to Bloomberg. The decline in June was revised downwards to -1.8% from -1.5%.
After three straight quarters of contraction in business-equipment spending, a rebound in orders would boost expectations for stronger economic growth in the third quarter.
A preliminary report on durable goods orders showed that purchases of stuff built to last rose 4.4%, the first increase in three months. Excluding transportation orders, which are often volatile month-to-month, durable goods increased 1.3%, revised down on Friday from the 1.5% print initially reported.
Capital goods orders for non-defence items excluding aircraft, or so-called core durable goods, were reported at 1.5%, revised from 1.6%.