A Southwest Airlines plane Rob Carr, Getty Images

US Factory Orders Fall Again in September

‘Demand for many categories of manufactured goods continues to struggle from the effect of a stronger dollar, weak foreign demand and lower energy prices.’

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

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