European Economy Suffers Setback
European Economy Suffers Setback

A new economic report says U.S. factory orders rebounded in September, while another predicts the economy of the 16-nation eurozone will grow next year rather than contract.

The U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday new factory orders rose 0.9 percent in September from the previous month, slightly better than the 0.8 percent rise economists expected. The report is the latest to suggest that U.S. manufacturing activity is feeding an economic recovery.

One factor driving the rebound in new orders is a drop in factory inventories, which has prompted many companies to rebuild their stockpiles. Rising demand for heavy machinery and vehicles also fueled the growth in orders.

Meanwhile, the European Commission said Tuesday it expects the 16 nations using the euro to post economic growth of 0.7 percent next year. The Commission's new forecast is a marked improvement from its earlier prediction of a 0.1 percent contraction.

The report says the eurozone is likely to come out of a recession in 2010 thanks to governments spending billions of dollars on stimulus packages.

But, the European Commission warns that eurozone unemployment is likely to remain high for some time after hitting an expected 9.5 percent this year. It predicted that the eurozone's jobless rate would rise to 10.7 percent in 2010, lower than its earlier forecast of 11.5 percent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.