WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories received slightly more orders in August, as demand for autos rose and companies spent more on machinery and metal products.
The Commerce Department says durable goods orders increased 0.1 percent in August, after they plummeted 8.1 percent the previous month. July's decline was driven by a drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile category.
Auto factories reported a 2.4 percent increase in orders, the biggest in six months. Orders for defense aircraft and other goods fell sharply. Excluding defense, orders rose 0.5 percent.
Orders for so-called core capital goods rose 1.5 percent, after falling 3.3 percent the previous month. Core capital goods are a good measure of businesses' confidence in the economy and include items that point to expansion, such as machinery and computers.