Orders for durable goods fell an unexpected 0.9% in Jan. as demand for new civilian aircraft waned, the Commerce Department announced Thursday. A plunge in orders for civilian aircraft, which fell 27.1% in Jan. weighed down overall orders last month.
The fall in durable goods orders surprised Wall Street which had expected orders to remain unchanged or register a slight increase. The drop also reversed an increase in orders in December. The fall in orders was the largest since Oct. of last year.
Demand for new motor vehicles fell 3.8% in Jan. following a 4.9% rise in Dec., although Jan. is usually a tough sales month for car manufacturers. Orders for defense aircraft jumped 56.9%, following a 39.8% rise in Dec. Shipments of core capital goods increased 3.7% in January.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005