Factory orders jump 1.5 percent

EVERETT, WASHINGTON - JUNE 13: A Boeing 787 Dreamliner sits on the assembly line June 13, 2012 at the Boeing Factory in Everett, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Stephen Brashear

WASHINGTON Orders placed with U.S. factories rose to a record high in June, boosted by strong demand for airplanes, machinery and autos.

The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 1.5 percent in June compared with May, when orders had risen 3 percent. The gains pushed total orders to a record $496.7 billion.

It was the second month that factory orders have been at an all-time high, surpassing the previous record set in June 2008. Demand for factory goods had plunged during the recession.

Orders in a key category that tracks business investment rose 0.9 percent in June, the fourth consecutive monthly gain.

Manufacturing struggled in the early part of this year, held back by weaker global growth and steep government spending cuts. But those trends may be starting to reverse.

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