WASHINGTON (AP) – Orders to U.S. factories fell for the second straight month in May.

The Commerce Departments reports that factory orders declined 0.8 percent in May, the biggest drop since last November.

Excluding the volatile transportation sector, factory orders fell 0.3 percent in May. Orders for civilian aircraft plunged 11.6 percent after dropping 12.2 percent in April.

Orders rose a modest 0.2 percent in a category monitored for signs of businesses’ investment plans.

American manufacturing has been sending mixed signals. The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its manufacturing index rose sharply last month.

Overall, U.S. factories have rebounded from a slump caused by cutbacks in the energy industry and a strong dollar that made American products costlier overseas.

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