US Factory Orders Plunge 40 in March

US Factory Orders Plunge 4.0% in March

Defense communications equipment orders posted the steepest decline, down 84.3%, followed by machinery orders for mining and oil and gas fields, down 31.3%.

WASHINGTON -- New orders for manufactured goods plunged in March, mainly due to a steep decline in transportation orders, government data released Friday showed.

The Commerce Department reported a 4% drop in factory orders from February, when orders had climbed 1.9%.

The March reading was well below the 2.5% decline expected by most analysts.

Excluding transportation, factory orders fell 2% in March.

Commercial aircraft orders, which tend to be volatile month-on-month, dived 48.3%.

Defense communications equipment orders posted the steepest decline, down 84.3%, followed by machinery orders for mining and oil and gas fields, down 31.3%.

On a 12-month basis, March orders were 0.2% lower.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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