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Latest Sign Of Slowing: Factory Orders Fell In April

The word from the Census Bureau that orders for manufactured goods fell 0.6 percent in April from March — the second straight monthly decline — is in line with other reports that signal the economy "may suffer a swoon yet not slip into a recession," Bloomberg News writes.

If so, it would be "the third straight year" that's happened, Bloomberg adds. Economists tell that news service that they think other sectors, most notably consumer spending, will help the economy avoid sinking into a full-blown recession.

But Reuters cautionsthat today's report "showed broad weakness in a sector that has carried the economic recovery, adding to a growing body of soft economic data in the United States."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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