Factory orders rise sharply
Orders to U.S. factories rose sharply in February from January on a surge in volatile demand for commercial aircraft. The gain offset a drop in key orders that signal business investment.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that factory orders increased 3 percent in February. That’s up from a 1 percent decline in January and the biggest gain in five months.
The increase was due mostly to a jump in orders for commercial aircraft. Those orders rose 95.1 percent. Orders for motor vehicles and parts also increased 1.4 percent.
Orders for all durable goods, which are products expected to last at least three years, jumped 5.6 percent. Orders for nondurable goods, such as processed food and clothing, rose 0.8 percent.
Eurozone jobless rate dismal
The eurozone economy has passed another bleak milestone.
Official figures Tuesday showed that unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.
Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said the rate in February was unchanged at the record high after January’s figure was revised up to 12 percent from 11.9 percent.
Spain and Greece have mass unemployment and many other countries are seeing their numbers swell to uncomfortably high levels as governments across the region enact tough austerity measures to get a handle on their debts.
Wooing ‘20,000 Leagues’
Australia is paying its biggest Hollywood inducement ever to bring “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” Down Under.
The Walt Disney Studios will film a new version of the science fiction classic in Australia, which will pay the studio 21.6 million Australia dollars ($22.6 million) to film there, the government said Tuesday.
David Fincher of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “The Social Network” will direct, said Disney Asia-Pacific spokeswoman Alannah Hall-Smith.
“No casting decisions have been made,” she said, so the filming schedule and locations haven’t been set.