New orders for manufactured goods in the US plunged 2.5% in the month of September. The contraction follows a downwardly-revised 4.3% drop in orders in August. The data, first reported by the Commerce Department, is worse than expected, as economists were expecting a number closer to -0.2%. Factory orders have been on a downtrend in the last 2 months, after being positive for five consecutive months before last month’s report.

Excluding transportation orders, factory orders fell a record 3.7%, the biggest drop since the series was first stated in 1992. Orders for core capital equipment goods, the kind of tools businesses invest in order to expand or update their productive capacity, fell 1.5%, after a 2.3% drop in August.

Orders for durable goods increased a revised 0.9% in September, up slightly from 0.8% estimated a week ago. But this gain was swamped by a 5.5% drop in orders for nondurable goods.

Report Details (Via MarketWatch):

Durables were pushed higher by a 29.7% gain in orders for new civilian aircraft. Overall transportation orders rose 6.5% in September.

Excluding defense, orders fell 3.3%.

Orders for machinery rose 0.9%, while orders for computers and electronic products fell 1.8%.

Shipments of factory goods fell 2.8% in September, the second straight monthly drop.

Inventories fell 0.7% in September, which was the first drop in five months.

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