WASHINGTON — New orders for manufactured goods fell $2.9 billion, or 0.6%, to $466.0 billion in April, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
The April decrease, the third in four months, followed a revised decline of 2.1% in March, originally reported as a 1.5% slip. The decrease in orders was in sharp contrast to the median 0.2% gain predicted by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
Driving the decline in new orders were drops in orders for machinery, which fell 2.9%, and military capital goods, which plummeted 21.5%. Excluding transportation, new orders fell by 1.1%, following a 0.7% decline a month earlier. Excluding military orders, they decreased 0.2%.
Shipments, down after four straight increases, fell $1.5 billion or 0.3% to $473.2 billion in April, following a 0.1% increase in March.