Factory orders dip 0.1 percent in February

WASHINGTON — U.S. factories orders fell in February, as the government cut demand for military planes and communications equipment while businesses bought fewer computers, turbines and power generators.

The Commerce Department says orders to U.S. factories slipped 0.1 percent in February after three straight monthly gains. A key category that measures business spending on capital goods fell for the second straight month.

The small decline left monthly orders at a healthy $446 billion, 26.4 percent above the recession low hit in March 2009. Economists believe the weakness in manufacturing is temporary. They expect the data to rebound based on strong demand for exports and tax cuts designed to encourage businesses to spend more on capital goods.

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