WASHINGTON - New orders for manufactured goods were down $4.8 billion or 1.0% to $462.6 billion in January, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

The January decrease followed two monthly revised increases: 2.2% in November and 1.4% in December, but was smaller than the median 1.5% decline estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.3% in the month, after a 0.7% increase in December.

Shipments rose $4.1 billion or 0.9% to $463.6 billion in January, following a revised 0.8% increase the previous month.

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods, up 21 of the last 22 months, climbed $5.4 billion or 0.6% to $917.9 billion, following a revised 1.5% gain in December.

Inventories, up 27 of the last 28 months, increased $3.9 billion or 0.6% to $614.7 billion in January, after rising 0.2% the previous month. The January inventory level is the highest since the data was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992.

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