WASHINGTON — Factory orders fell more than analysts expected in August, dropping 0.5% to post their third decline in four months, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Economists expected a 0.3% drop.

A drop in aircraft orders was partially offset by gains in other durable goods categories and a modest increase in nondurable goods orders, which rose 0.3%.

August orders for durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — were revised down to a 1.5% decline from the 1.3% drop initially reported.

Factory orders excluding transportation rose 0.9%, the most since March 2010. Transportation fell 10.2%.

Steven Wood, chief economist of Insight Economics, said it’s important to remember factory orders fell 27% from July 2008 to March 2009, before rebounding 15.8% from March 2009 to August.

“This has left them 15.4% below the June 2008 peak level,” Wood wrote in a research note. “The demand for manufactured goods has begun a moderate recovery but there has been very little net change since the beginning of the year.”

-Market News International

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