Factory orders fell 1.4% in May — double economists’ estimates — to post their first decline in nine months, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The drop in factory orders was the largest since March 2009, and exceeded the median forecast in a Thomson Reuters survey of economists, which called for a 0.5% decline. Orders excluding transportation fell 0.6%.

May’s unfilled factory orders increased 0.2%. Durable goods orders excluding transportation rose 1.6%. Manufacturing orders excluding military spending fell 1.4%.

The April gain in factory orders was revised downward to 1.0% from 1.2%. Through the first five months of 2010, Factory orders increased 15.3% over the same period a year ago.

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