WASHINGTON – Orders to U.S. factories turned in the weakest performance in four months, although a key category that tracks business investment showed more strength.
The Commerce Department says factory orders edged up 0.2 percent in March, a significant slowdown from February's gain of 1.2 percent. It was also the poorest showing since orders fell 2.3 percent in November.
Despite the overall decline, a key category that tracks business investment rebounded to a 0.5 percent gain. That is the best showing since December's 0.8 percent increase. The business category increased a small 0.1 percent in February.
American manufacturers continue to recover from a rough patch over the last two years when demand for American exports fell due to weak overseas economies and the strong U.S. dollar.