Orders for American factory goods unexpectedly fell in January recording their sixth straight monthly decline, the longest negative stretch since the recession of 2008-2009.
New placements slipped 0.2 percent and the prior month was revised 0.1 percent lower to -3.5 percent, according to the Commerce Department in Washington today. Economists in the Bloomberg survey had forecast a gain of 0.2 percent. Annual orders were down 2.3 percent on the month after falling 3.7 percent in December and 2 percent in November, the first three month decline since 2009.
Orders for non-defense capital goods ex-aircraft--a proxy for business investment plans--rose 0.5 percent. Shipments of the same items--used to estimate business spending in the GDP calculation--gained 0.1 percent.
Manufacturing has been hurt by a rising dollar, up more than 20 percent against the euro alone in eight months, slowing economies in Europe, China and Japan and the rapid abatement of exploration and drilling for crude oil due to the collapse in crude prices.
Chief Market Strategist
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