5/2/12, "US March Factory Orders Post Biggest Drop In 3 Years," NASDAQ.com
"U.S. factory orders fell at the sharpest pace in three years in March, a sign that demand is slowing amid an uneven economic recovery.
Orders for manufactured goods declined 1.5% to $460.46 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That matched expectations of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
Factory orders over the previous month were revised down, as well, to a 1.1% increase from an initial estimate for a 1.3% gain.
Demand for durable goods, expensive products made to last at least three years, tumbled 4.0% in March. While that was the biggest decline since January 2009, it marked a slight upward revision from the 4.2% drop Commerce estimated just last week.
Durable goods climbed 1.9% in February, as previously thought.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft--seen as a yardstick for capital spending by businesses--were also lower. Orders in that key segment slipped 0.1% in March, following a 2.7% gain the month before.
Manufacturing activity has shown signs of stagnation in recent months, with recent weakness in several regional indicators raising renewed concerns about the durability of the recovery....
Wednesday's factory data showed that orders for goods made in the transportation sector slid 12.6% in March, as orders for civilian planes were nearly cut by half....
Capital goods orders fell 8.4%, after increasing 1.8% the month before.
Defense capital-goods orders--which include such things as communications equipment, aircraft and missiles--rose 10.3% . Excluding defense orders, overall factory orders were down 1.6%....
The Commerce Department's factory orders report can be found at: http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3/." via Free Republic