October factory orders drop more than expected

December 4, 2008 7:07:09 AM PST
Orders to U.S. factories plunged in October by the sharpest amount in over eight years as a deepening recession caused big cutbacks in demand for steel, autos, computers and heavy machinery. Analysts expect the weakness will continue for some time.

The Commerce Department says factory orders dropped 5.1 percent in October, the largest decrease since an 8.5 percent fall in July 2000.

It was larger than the 4 percent drop that economists had been expecting. They believe manufacturing will continue to be under pressure for many more months, reflecting a deepening recession that is already the longest slump in a quarter-century.

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