Orders for durable manufactured goods outside of transportation fell in January by the largest amount in two years.
According to a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department, orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell 3.6 percent last month, the largest decrease since January 2009. Total durable goods orders increased by 2.7 percent, but the rise was driven by a large rebound in orders for commercial aircraft.
Manufacturing has been a strong performer during this recover and, despite January's weak numbers, economists expect that to continue. Orders totaled $200.5 billion last month, considered a health level by economist. January's order total is more than 25 percent higher than the recession low of March 2009.
Transportation aside, most other categories of durable goods showed weakness last month. Orders for non-defense capital equipment fell 6.9 percent in January to $62.3 billion. Many economists view this drop as a temporary setback, anticipating growth this year as companies respond to tax changes intended to spur spending.
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