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Drop Snaps Long Streak For Factories

Sat., Aug. 3, 1996

Orders to U.S. factories fell 0.9 percent in June, bringing to an end a four-month string of gains. Most industry groups shared in the losses.

The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for both durable and non-durable goods totaled a seasonally adjusted $311.2 billion, down from $314.2 billion in May.

The May bookings were not as strong as initially thought. They were revised down from $315.9 billion in the original report.

Orders are considered a key gauge of the nation’s manufacturing strength and declines could mean a lower production and loss of jobs.

The data suggests that the recent rebound in manufacturing may have stalled. Orders had risen every month since a 1.5 percent drop last February.

In another report Friday, the government said consumer spending fell in June for the first time since blizzards paralyzed the East Coast six months earlier.

Personal incomes rose 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $6.46 trillion, the Commerce Department said. It followed 0.5 percent increases in May and April and was the biggest rise in a year and a half.

Personal spending, however, fell 0.2 percent in June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $5.15 trillion. It was the largest decline since January, when heavy snows closed many businesses.

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