US orders for business investment goods fell 2.7 per cent in February, biggest drop in 7 months

WASHINGTON – U.S. orders for long-lasting goods that signal business investment plans fell in February by the largest amount in seven months, although the decline followed a strong month in January and may prove to be a temporary setback.

The Commerce Department says orders for core capital goods declined 2.7 per cent in February. Demand weakened for machinery and communications equipment. The decline followed a 6.7 per cent surge in January, which was the biggest one-month gain in nearly three years.

Overall orders for durable goods surged 5.7 per cent in February, the biggest increase in five months. The increase was driven by a rebound in the volatile commercial aircraft category.

Durable goods are products expected to last at least three years. Orders can fluctuate sharply from month to month.