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In a positive sign for the U.S. economy, businesses began ordering more airplanes, cars and other factory goods in May according to a Commerce Department report. Factory orders rose 0.8 percent in May "suggesting supply disruptions stemming from the Japan crisis are fading," reports the Associated Press. "Much of the increase was driven by orders for aircraft, a volatile category, which jumped 36.5 percent. Auto and auto parts orders rose 2 percent." According to Bloomberg, the increase in orders vindicates Federal Reserve officials, "who last month said the economic slackening likely reflects temporary restraints." A senior economist at RDQ Economics tells the wire service "the negative impact from the supply-chain disruptions may have started to ease" and "the trade environment, with strong growth in exports to a number of countries like Brazil and China, will continue to help manufacturing." Though welcome news, it didn't come as a huge surprise, as a Bloomberg news survey of economists forecast a 1 percent increase of factory orders for May. Still analysts are pleased:

Even with the earthquake, unrest in the Middle East and higher commodity prices, manufacturing “has been the rock in the system,” Thomas L. Williams, executive vice president and operating officer at Parker Hannifin, said June 16 during a conference in Chicago. “I still feel that way. I’m not worried about a double-dip recession as far as what I’m seeing.”

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