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Orders to US factories for durable goods slip 0.5 percent, but investment category shows gain

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WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell slightly in April. But orders in a category that indicates business investment posted a second increase, a hopeful sign that this key sector is starting to revive.

The Commerce Department says that total orders for durable goods slipped 0.5 percent from March, when total orders had surged 5.1 percent. The big swing was driven by changes in commercial aircraft, an extremely volatile category that had jumped in March but fell in April.

Orders in the business investment category rose 1 percent in April after a 1.5 percent increase in March. The results followed a sizable 5.1 percent fall in February. Business investment has been hurt by a stronger dollar cutting into exports and cutbacks in the energy industry.

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