U.S. factories indicated business orders dropped in July after three consecutive
months of increases, the Department of Commerce said Thursday.
Factory orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell 2.4 percent in the month to $485 billion.
Transportation orders -- a category that includes planes, trains and ships -- fell by $16.8 billion or 19.4 percent to $69.6 billion.
Without transportation orders, factory orders increased by 1.2 percent, which means big-ticket items led the declines in July.
Orders for durable goods in July fell 7.4 percent, while fresh orders for manufactured non-durable goods rose 2.4 percent.
Factory shipments of durable goods, down in three of the past four months, dropped 0.3 percent to $228.8 billion.
Shipments of non-durable goods -- items not expected to last for three years -- rose by 2.4 percent to $26.7 billion. Non-durable goods shipments are up for two of the past three months, the department said.
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