Factory orders tumbled in November as global economy slowed

Factory orders tumbled in November as global economy slowed
Ron Hudgins welds a 2015 Ford F-150 cab at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., on Nov. 11. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Orders for goods from U.S. factories tumbled more than expected in November, the fourth straight monthly decline, as the slowing global economy has hit the manufacturing sector.

New orders for manufactured goods were down 0.7% in November, the most recent data available, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.


Economists had forecast a 0.6% drop.

November's decline matched October's and came as key economies in Europe and Asia weakened in the fall.

Japan announced in November that it had fallen into recession and the Eurozone is teetering near one as well.

Factory orders are a key sign of future activity in the crucial manufacturing sector.

The report comes after a closely watched private sector indicator from the Institute for Supply Management on Friday showed the pace of expansion of manufacturing businesses slowed in December.

A separate ISM report on the service sector, released Tuesday, also showed slowing growth.

The declines in factory orders have come as the U.S. economic recovery has been accelerating on the strength of strong consumer demand.

Many manufactured products are exported and businesses depend on growth abroad to boost activity.

But analysts don't think the problems in the global economy will derail the U.S. recovery.

Shipments of factory goods also declined in November, falling 0.6%. It was the third drop in four months, though not as steep as October's 0.9% decline.

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