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US factory orders ticked up in August

WASHINGTON – Orders to U.S. factories edged higher in August, with a key category that tracks business investment plan rising for a third straight month.

The Commerce Department says factory orders increased 0.2 per cent in August after a much larger 1.4 per cent gain in July. However, the overall figure was heavily influenced by a swing in the volatile commercial aircraft category, which had jumped 72.9 per cent in July but declined 22.7 per cent in August.

A core category, which serves as a proxy for business investment, was up 0.9 per cent in August. It was the third straight monthly increase. Analysts are hoping the string of gains in the investment category could be a signal that businesses are beginning to spend again to expand and modernize their facilities.