Transportation sector decline stalls factory orders

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 4, 2010 at 9:57 a.m.

New orders received by U.S. factories fell by 0.5 percent in August, resuming a downtrend as demand for transportation equipment declined sharply, according to a Commerce Department report on Monday.

Total orders fell to a seasonally adjusted $408.9 billion after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in July and a 0.6 percent fall in June. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a decline of 0.4 percent in August.
The August decline in factory orders was due mainly to a 10.2 percent reduction in the volatile transportation equipment segment, in which motor vehicle-related orders were off 3.6 percent and non-defense aircraft down 40.2 percent. Excluding the transport segment, factory orders rose 0.9 percent.

Orders for machinery rose 5.2 percent in August, while orders for computers and electronic products rose 3.7 percent.

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