WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured durable goods fell $11.8 billion or 5.2% to $217 billion in January, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The decrease followed a revised advance of 3.7% in December, originally reported as a 4.6% increase. It was the first decline in new orders of durable goods since August, when orders fell 13.1%.
A drop in transportation equipment orders drove the decrease. Excluding transportation, January new orders rose 1.9%, after a 1.0% gain in December. Excluding defense, they ticked down 0.4%. Excluding aircraft, new orders jumped 6.3%.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had projected that durable goods orders would fall 4.0%. They had expected a 0.2% gain for new orders excluding transportation.
Durable goods shipments decreased $2.7 billion or 1.2% to $226.1 billion in January. The decline followed a revised 0.5% rise in December.
Unfilled orders for durable goods fell $2.1 billion or 0.2% to $989.2 billion, following a revised 0.8% increase the previous month.
Inventories, which have risen in 15 of the past 16 months, were up $700 million or 0.2% to $374.8 billion in January. The gain followed a 0.1% slip in December.