WASHINGTON – Factory orders for long-lasting goods such as autos, airplanes and electronics were flat in November, as the impact of a strong dollar and struggling global economy weigh on U.S. manufacturers.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods were nearly unchanged in November after a 2.9 percent increase in October. Demand for autos, electronic products and fabricated metals accelerated last month, but their gains were offset by declines in machinery and aircraft. Orders for capital goods not including aircraft — a key proxy for business investment — fell 0.4 percent.
Durable goods orders have tumbled 3.7 percent year-to-date. Slow economic growth among major U.S. trading partners — including Europe, China and Japan — has caused the dollar to rise in value, making U.S. goods more expensive overseas, and less competitive.