U.S. Manufacturing Slumps

WASHINGTON, Rabi’II 25, 1437, February 4, 2016 — New orders to U.S. factories slumped in December, the government said Thursday, providing fresh evidence of the weakness in the manufacturing sector hit by a strong dollar and slowing economies.
The Commerce Department reported that initial orders for American manufactured goods dropped 2.9 percent last month, following a 0.7 percent decline in November.
Orders were dragged down in part by falling oil and natural gas prices that have led companies to scale back. Machinery orders tumbled 5.6 percent, including a 78.2 percent plunge in orders for mining, oil field, and gas field equipment.
Computers and electronic products were another weak spot, with steep falls in orders for communications equipment.
The transportation equipment sector, which is volatile, saw orders down 12.6 percent on sliding aircraft orders.
Excluding transportation, factory orders were down 0.8 percent, about the same as in November.
— SPA
20:55 LOCAL TIME 17:55 GMT