New orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell for a second consecutive month in September, dragged down largely by a drop in commercial plane orders, according to official data released Tuesday.
The Commerce Department said new factory orders fell 1.0% in September, following a revised 2.1% drop in August, previously estimated at 1.7%. The September report was the latest evidence of the continued sluggishness in the manufacturing sector, hit by a strong dollar and weakness in the energy sector amid low oil prices.
Excluding transportation orders, which tend to be volatile month-on-month, factory orders fell 0.6% in September. Transportation orders dropped 3.1% last month, less than half the August decline. A big 36% decline in commercial aircraft and parts orders outweighed a pick-up in defense aircraft orders.
Total factory orders in September were down 7.2% from a year ago.
The weakness was broad. Orders for durable goods — products expected to last at least three years — fell 1.2%. Nondurable goods orders dropped 0.8%.
“Demand for many categories of manufactured goods continues to struggle from the effect of a stronger dollar, weak foreign demand and lower energy prices,” according to Barclays analyst Jesse Hurwitz.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015