Orders for core capital goods, a benchmark for future business investment, lost 1.4%, continuing six straight months of declines. However, shipments, a sign of economic growth, rose slightly by 0.2%.
The number surprised many analysts who expected a drop of as much as 3.3%, figuring the cold and snow that hit big portions of the country would keep buyers inside.
The World Steel Association's monthly report tracks raw (or crude) steel tonnage and capacity utilization across 65 countries. It notes that its participating countries represent about 98% of the world's raw steel output.
The latest report from the National Association of Realtors shows a rise of 1.2% to an annual rate of 4.88 million homes in February. Sales were led by single family homes, the market's largest part.
Crude prices slumped by about 60% between June and February, weighed down by a glut of global supplies and concerns about stalling demand.
The field, Oil Mining Lease 18, covers an area of 1,035 kilometers in the eastern Niger Delta and produced a daily average of 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent last year.