WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New orders for products made in the United States fell in February, probably pressured by the atypical cold weather, although manufacturing remains strong as the economic recovery picks up again amid the improved health situation and strong fiscal stimulus.
The Commerce Department said on Monday that industrial orders fell 0.8% after a 2.7% jump in January. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.5% drop in February. In the annual comparison, orders rose 1.0%.
The harsh weather affected large parts of the country, including winter storms in Texas and elsewhere in the South, in the second half of February, hampering consumer spending, factory production, housing construction and sales.
But that is behind us. The Supply Management Institute (ISM) said last week that its index for national industrial activity jumped in March to its highest level since December 1983.
Manufacturing, which accounts for 11.9% of the US economy, has been driven by a shift in demand during the goods service pandemic.
(Reportagem de Lucia Mutikani)
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