Data shows US economic growth continuing

Image caption,
Demand for commercial aircraft led factory orders

Data released on Thursday has shown that the US economy is continuing to grow, with both factory output and the services sector still expanding.

US factory orders increased 1.2% in April, said the Commerce Department, led by a big rise in orders for commercial aircraft.

The Institute of Supply Management said service industries grew in May for the fifth month in a row.

US economists are now awaiting Friday's release of May's unemployment data.

This is expected to show that while the US economy added about 500,000 jobs last month, unemployment remained at just under 10%.

The reason for this apparent contradiction is that more people are starting to look for work as the economy continues to recover, thereby boosting the size of the overall labour force.

"While we will see a period of job growth, it is going to take a long time to get back the jobs we lost [in the recession]," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

He estimates that it will take until 2013 for the US economy to create enough jobs to replace the eight million lost during the downturn.

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