News Summary: US factory orders up 3 percent

News Summary: US factory orders up but investment orders down in February

Associated Press

ORDERS UP: Orders to U.S. factory rose 3 percent in February from January, the biggest gain in five months. Much of the strength coming from a surge in demand for commercial aircraft.

INVESTMENT DOWN: A key category viewed as a proxy for business investment plans fell 3.2 percent in February. But the decline came after a 6.7 percent surge in January, the biggest gain in nearly three years.

OUTLOOK: Economists believe business investment will resume growing in response to a strengthening economy. They believe the overall economy grew at an annual rate of around 3 percent in the January-March quarter, much improved from the 0.4 percent growth in the October-December period.

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