US durable goods orders fall 1.6% in February


WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell 1.6% in February, the biggest drop in four months, reflecting a plunge in the volatile commercial aircraft category. Demand in a key sector used to track business investment decisions also declined in February.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the February decline came after a small 0.1% rise January and was the weakest showing since a 4.3% fall in October. Orders in a category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans edged down 0.1% in February after a 0.9% advance in January.

The manufacturing sector has been strained for the past few months, reflecting a global economic slowdown and rising trade tensions which have hurt U.S. exports. But there have been more hopeful signs recently.

The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 55.3 in March, up from a reading of 54.2 in February, with employment gains in manufacturing a key driver of the increase. Analysts said factories are hiring to make sure they can meet demand in the coming months.

The report on new orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, showed that much of the overall weakness came from a 31.1% plunge in orders for commercial aircraft, a drop that followed health gains in the past two months.

Trump Shooter Flew Drone, Livestreamed Area Hours Before Attack as Stunning Details Come to Light: Wray

Orders for motor vehicles and parts dipped a small 0.1% following a 0.5% decline in January.

Demand for machinery fell 0.3% while orders for computers and electronic products fell 0.3%.

U.S. manufacturers have faced a number of challenges over the past year including trade wars begun by President Donald Trump. Trump is trying to pressure China and other nations to open their markets to more U.S. exports, but Trump’s imposition of tariffs on foreign goods has prompted other countries to levy retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products.

U.S. and Chinese negotiators are scheduled to meet in Washington this week to continue looking for a way to reach a trade deal that would remove the threat of higher tariffs.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City