Orders for long-lasting goods increased slightly in April after a steep drop the prior month, continuing the up-and-down recovery for the manufacturing sector.

Separately, the number of U.S. workers filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits were basically unchanged last week, suggesting the labor market continues to mend slowly.

Manufacturers’ orders for durable goods, items such as computers and cars designed to last at least three years, grew by 0.2% to a seasonally adjusted $215.53 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

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