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Durable goods orders fell 0.1% in September, more than forecast, according to a preliminary release from the Department of Commerce on Thursday.
Economists had estimated that orders for things built to last were flat in September, according to Bloomberg. Excluding transportation orders which are usually quite volatile, so-called core durable goods rose 0.2% as expected.
The headline drop was due to a plunge in orders for defense aircraft and parts.
But capital goods orders for nondefense items excluding aircraft also fell, by 1.2%, more than the forecast for a drop by 0.1%. Besides defense-related items, orders for computer products also fell sharply.
Orders in August were revised higher.
Durable goods orders provide a window into business spending, which has contracted every quarter since the last three months of 2015. That’s partly because of weakness in sectors that were exposed to the drop in oil prices.
The full report will be released on November 3.