Orders for durable goods, which are designed to last at least three years, fell for the second consecutive month in September, according to a report from the Commerce Department. The report is the latest sign of falting improvement in the economy.
Purchases of durable goods in the U.S. — such as airplanes, cars, and heavy machinery — fell by 1.3 percent in the month of September from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $241.63 billion. The data widely missed the expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, who had forecast orders would increase by 0.7 percent in September.
Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders fell a smaller 0.2 percent, while excluding defense goods, orders fell 1.5 percent.
Business confidence weighed down durable goods orders in August, with orders falling 18.3 percent, which was slightly less than a previously reported 18.4 percent decline. Though orders rose 22.5 percent in July, the outlier was caused by record orders reported by aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) in July.
However, recent data from Boeing showed it had orders for 122 aircraft in September and 107 in August, down from 324 in July.