Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in October, helped by a big gain in demand for equipment that reflects business investment plans.
Factory orders edged up 0.8 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The increase slowed from a 4.5 percent jump in September. Orders for core capital goods increased 2.9 percent in October, the biggest increase in eight months. That represented an upward revision from an initial estimate of 1.7 percent. Also, U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less. The Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September. That’s the fastest pace in two years.