WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories posted a modest gain in July, helped by the biggest rise in motor vehicles orders in a year and a solid gain in a category that tracks business investment plans.
The Commerce Department says factory orders rose 0.4 percent in July. Orders had increased a much larger 2.2 percent in June.
For July, orders for motor vehicles posted a 4 percent advance, the largest gain since July 2014.
A key category that tracks business investment plans climbed 2.1 percent in the strongest gain in 13 months.
The modest increase in factory orders in July showed that manufacturing is still struggling with a variety of problems, from falling energy prices to a stronger dollar, which hurts exports.