updated 11/2/2007 10:18:33 AM ET 2007-11-02T14:18:33

Manufacturers saw demand for their products edge up in September, after dropping sharply in the previous month.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that orders placed with U.S. factories rose 0.2 percent in September. That was an improvement from the 3.5 percent drop in orders registered in August.

All the strength in September came from a pick up in demand for "nondurable" goods, such as food, paper products and chemicals. Nondurable goods orders went up 2.1 percent, versus a 1.4 percent drop in August. Demand for "durable" goods, such as construction and transportation equipment, however, dropped by 1.7 percent in September. That was still better than a 5.3 percent drop for durable goods reported in August.

The latest showing of factory activity was stronger than economists were expecting. They were forecasting a 0.4 percent decline in orders for September.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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