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Factories Hum to Keep Up With Auto, Housing Demand

Eight months into the Covid-19 crisis, manufacturers are facing an unusual problem: They are struggling to keep up with demand.
The Commerce Department on Tuesday reported that orders for durable goods—long-lasting items such as cold-rolled steel in cooling towers—rose 1.9% in September from August, outstripping the 0.4% gain economists expected. Details of the report were strong, including a 1% increase in nondefense capital-goods orders excluding aircraft, which economists use as a proxy for capital equipment demand.
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