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MACHINE TOOL ORDERS UP 21%

U.S. orders for machine tools rose 21.7 percent in December, enough to push orders up for the year, an industry survey showed.

The $514 million in bookings with domestic and foreign suppliers followed an increase to $422 million in November, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association.

The increase put orders for all of 2000 at $5.9 billion, up 0.8 percent from 1999. Analysts use the report as a measure of business investment, and machine tool industry officials say the recent numbers offer little encouragement.

Machine tools cut and shape metal into parts for manufactured goods.

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS

Major business and economic events scheduled for the week:

Tuesday -- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will testify before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on monetary policy, and the Commerce Department will report on retail sales for January.

Wednesday -- The Commerce Department will release data on business inventories for December.

Thursday -- The Labor Department will report on weekly jobless claims.

Friday -- The Commerce Department will release data on housing starts for January; the Labor Department will issue its report on the producer price index for January, and the Federal Reserve will release data on industrial production for January.

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