Following two consecutive monthly increases, new orders for manufactured goods decreased in July, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on August 31. Last month's decline was six-tenths of a percent, to $405.1 billion. In June, new orders for manufactured goods increased 1.5%; in May they had increased 1%.
July's decline was less than economists generally expected; they had been predicting a 1% decline last month.
In July, new orders for manufactured durables decreased 2.5%, a tenth of a percentage point more than initially reported. July's decrease followed two consecutive monthly increases. New orders for durables increased 3.3% in June and three-tenths of a percent in May.
Among manufactured durables, generally big-ticket items such as appliances, airplanes, and autos designed to last at least three years, the transportation equipment sector posted the biggest decline in July. It was down 10.1% from June, as new orders for non-defense aircraft and parts decreased 10.6% and new orders for ships and boats decreased 56.6%.
In contrast, new orders for non-durables increased 1.6%, to $193.8 billion.