Auto sales brighten U.S. growth picture

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Vehicles are covered with protective wrap as workers prepare the General Motors automakers display ahead of the media preview of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan January 11, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Rebecca CookNew orders for U.S. factory goods jumped in July and automobile sales in August were unexpectedly strong, offering further signs of strength in the manufacturing sector.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new orders for manufactured goods increased a record 10.5 percent on robust demand for transportation equipment. June’s orders were revised to show a 1.5 percent increase instead of the previously reported 1.1 percent rise.

Orders excluding the volatile transportation category slipped 0.8 percent in July. But that followed a 1.4 percent increase the prior month, leaving the overall trend positive for manufacturing activity.

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