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US factory orders fell in April as transportation equipment offset prior gains

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US factory orders fell in April as transportation equipment offset prior gains

New orders for goods manufactured in the U.S. fell in April as a decline in transportation equipment orders offset gains in the previous month and shipments posted their biggest drop in two years, the Census Bureau reported.

Factory orders decreased 0.8% month over month to a seasonally adjusted $499.27 billion, following a revised 1.3% increase in March. Durable goods orders fell 2.1%, and nondurable goods orders ticked up 0.5%.

Transportation equipment orders shrank 5.9% after a 6.0% jump in March. Orders for nondefense aircraft and parts and for ships and boats plunged 25.2% and 46.2%, respectively. Orders for motor vehicles and parts fell 1.7%.

Orders for primary metals and computers and electronic products also declined in April, while orders for machinery, fabricated metal products, furniture and electrical equipment, and appliances and components registered gains.

Shipments of U.S.-made goods fell 0.5% in April, the largest contraction since April 2017, following two consecutive monthly increases. Unfilled orders slipped 0.1%, while inventories rose 0.3%.

The latest survey data from IHS Markit showed that new factory orders registered in May their first decline since August 2009 amid weak demand conditions and companies' concerns over ongoing trade tensions.