By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories posted a surprisingly big gain in November, reflecting strong demand in a number of industries from steel and industrial machinery to computers and chemicals.

The advance was double what had been expected and provided further evidence that manufacturers are beginning to pull out of their steep slump.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders rose by 1.1 percent in November, much better than the 0.5 percent increase economists had forecast. The increases were widespread outside of autos and aircraft, which posted declines.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Recommended for you