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US core capital goods orders fall for second straight month in October
[WASHINGTON] New orders for US-made capital goods unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in October, a sign that the economy lost some momentum early in the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, declined 1.3 per cent last month. That followed a 1.3 per cent fall in September.
The drop in the so-called core capital goods orders suggested that a brisk pace of spending on equipment set in the third quarter ebbed early in the fourth quarter.
A sturdy pace of business spending on equipment helped the economy grow at a 3.9 per cent annual pace in the third quarter.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected core capital goods orders to increase 1.0 per cent last month.
Shipments of these goods, which are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement, fell 0.4 per cent in October after rising 0.4 per cent in September.
But overall orders for durable goods - items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more - increased 0.4 per cent, snapping two straight months of declines.
Durable goods orders have been volatile in recent months because of big swings in aircraft orders. Orders for transportation equipment increased 3.4 per cent in October after declining 3.3 per cent in September.
The gain came despite Boeing receiving only 46 aircraft orders, down from 122 in September, according to information posted on the planemaker' s website.
Automobile orders rose 0.3 per cent last month, halting two straight months of declines.