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Factory Orders Dip 0.1 Percent

April 2, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Orders to U.S. factories dipped 0.1 percent in February as weaker demand for computers and cars esclipsed gains for household appliances and industrial machinery.

It marked the first drop in overall orders since November and followed a solid 1.1 percent advance in January, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The weaker-than-expected performance in orders for a wide variety of manufactured goods comes just one day after a more forward-looking report offered some goods news for the nation’s struggling manufacturing sector.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that a key gauge of manufacturing activity flashed a growth signal in March for the second straight month, a sign that the manufacturing sector is staging a comeback after a year and a half long slump.

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