American orders for long-lasting goods fell by 2.4% in August, surprising analysts who had forecast a 0.5% rise, according to initial figures released by the Department of Commerce today.
August’s $4.0 billion (£2.5 billion) fall, which followed growth of 4.8% in July, was the biggest decline in the durable goods index in seven months.
The total value of new orders for manufactured durable goods in August was £164.4 billion.
The value of non-defence new orders for capital goods, frequently used as a proxy for business spending, fell by 7.1% to $52.7 billion. Analysts had forecast an increase of over 1%.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods fell 1.4% to $1.71 billion, following growth of 2.2% in July.
Unfilled orders fell for the eleventh consecutive month, decreasing by 0.4% to $737.1 billion.