WASHINGTON — U.S. durable goods orders were down 5.3% in January, pretty much as anticipated, and there was little in the report to alter the picture of a soft factory sector.

Orders fell 1.6% excluding the transportation sector, their third drop in four months, and were off 4.7% excluding defense.

Boeing Corp. reported 65 new commercial airplane orders in January, down from a stellar 287 in December, mainly explaining transportation’s 13.4% decline. In addition, motor vehicles and parts fell 0.8% and defense aircraft declined 32.6%.

Commercial aircraft and parts were down 30.5% in the official Commerce Department report, its largest dip since a 41% plunge in August.

But elsewhere weakness was seen in flat primary metals, down 1.5% in machinery, and a 2.7% decrease in computers. Electronics were up 1.4%.

— Market News International

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