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Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
US factories struggle for trade
US car factory
Manufacturers in the transportation sector fared particularly badly
Factory orders for US factories slumped in June by twice the rate analysts had forecast.

The figures provide further evidence of the hardships facing US manufacturers.

New orders for goods produced by US factories plunged by 2.4% in June, the US Commerce Department said.

The figure, which compared with a revised 2.2% rise in orders during May, disappointed analysts, who had predicted a 1.0-1.2% fall.

And it follows a series of data signalling that 2001 promises to be the worst year for US manufacturers since the recession of the early 1990s.

Since June 2000, factory orders have plunged by 6.6%, Thursday's report revealed.

Car firms hit

Manufacturers in the transportation sector were particularly badly hit, with orders down 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted $52.56bn.

Orders for motor vehicles, parts and trailers fell 3.8%, after rising 2.0% in May.

The data soured market sentiment which had helped the Dow Jones industrial average shares index gain more than 80 points to hit 10,609.5 within the first half hour of trade.

At 1416 GMT, the index stood at 10,559.6, up 48.64 points on the day.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Business
US manufacturing slumps further
31 Jul 01 | Business
US consumers spend on - for now
29 Jul 01 | Business
Brown voices slowdown fears
13 Jul 01 | Business
US economy slowing but not slumping
01 Jun 01 | Business
Mixed picture of US economy
02 May 00 | Business
US firms optimism grows
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