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US manufactured goods orders decline in January on aircraft woes

By AFP - Feb 28,2024 - Last updated at Feb 28,2024

WASHINGTON — US manufactured goods orders dropped more rapidly than expected in January amid a sharp decline in new orders for transportation equipment and civilian aircraft, according to fresh government data published on Tuesday.

New durable goods orders for January decreased by 6.1 per cent to $276.7 billion, the Commerce Department said in a statement, down sharply from a revised 0.3 per cent decline in December.

This was lower than the market's expectations of a 4.4 per cent drop, according to Briefing.com.

Transportation equipment, which fell by 16.2 per cent, "led the decrease", the Commerce Department said.

Stripping out this component, new orders only declined by 0.3 per cent from a month earlier.

The decline in new orders of nondefense aircraft and parts was even more pronounced, registering a 58.9 per cent decline amid ongoing concerns about Boeing's 737 MAX line of aircraft.

The company is facing intensified scrutiny following a January 5 Alaska Airlines emergency landing that led to a temporary grounding of some Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

"Overall and ex-transportation durable goods were weaker than expected in January," High Frequency Economics chief US economist Rubeela Farooqi wrote in a note to clients.

However, core capital expenditure orders "met expectations and shipments surprised to the upside", she said, adding that it pointed to "a modest uptick in overall business spending".

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