WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) — U.S. factory orders fell 0.2 percent in August, a sharp drop from the 2.1 percent rise in July, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.
Economists had expected factory orders for August to remain unchanged.
New orders have dropped for two of the past three months. In July, orders jumped by $10.5 billion to $453.2 billion. In August, they fell back to $451 billion.
New orders also fell 0.2 when transportation items were taken out of the mix.
Orders for fabricated metal products had the largest decrease, falling by 0.5 percent, or $100 million, to $25.5 billion.
A drop in a major component for durable goods suggests factories have cut back on orders in anticipation of a further slowdown in demand.
Orders for durable goods in the month fell 0.1 percent to $201.9 billion. New orders for non-durable goods fell 0.3 percent to $249.2 billion, the bureau said.