WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured durable goods remained virtually unchanged at $216.9 billion in October, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The flat report on orders followed a downwardly revised increase of 9.2% in September. The September advance was originally reported as a 9.9% rise.

Excluding transportation, October new orders rose 1.5%. Excluding defense, they ticked up 0.1%. Excluding aircraft, new orders increased 1.7%.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had projected that durable goods orders would dip 0.1%. The economists projected a 0.4% decline for new orders excluding transportation.

Durable goods shipments decreased $1.2 billion or 0.6% to $222.2 billion in October. The decline followed a revised 0.5% increase in September, originally reported as a 0.8% gain.

Unfilled orders for durable goods rose $2.3 billion or 0.2% to $982.5 billion, following a revised 0.1% increase in September.

Inventories, which have risen in 33 of the past 34 months, were up $1.6 billion or 0.4% to $374.4 billion in October, the highest level since the series was published on a NAICS basis in 1992. The gain followed a 0.2% gain in September.

The Census Bureau announced that after reviewing independent data sources and discussing the effects of Hurricane Sandy with companies surveyed for the report, no measurable effect of the storm could be identified.

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