New orders for manufactured durable goods, generally big-ticket items designed to last at least three years, declined for the second consecutive month in August.
New orders totaled a seasonally adjusted $209.7 billion last month, down half a percentage point from Julys $210.8 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on September 27.
In July, new orders for manufactured durables dropped 2.7%. In June they had gained 3.3%.
In August, new orders fell for primary metals (down 2.1%), machinery, (down 2.1%), computers and electronic products (down 4.7%) and electrical equipment and appliances (down 9.2%). Transportation equipment posted a 3.7% increase in orders last month, although new orders for civilian aircraft were down 21.9%.
New orders for capital goods, the machines that make other goods, were down 2.4% in August to $78.2 billion. Within that category, new orders for non-defense goods not including aircraft were down three-tenths of a percentage point to $63.9 billion.
New orders for non-defense goods not including aircraft, a closely watched indicator of U.S. manufacturing activity, had risen nine-tenths of a percent in June and July.