Orders to factories for “big ticket” durable goods dropped 3.6% in February, the biggest decline in seven months, the government reported today.
The Commerce Department said total orders fell to a seasonally adjusted $123.7 billion last month after dropping 2.9% in January.
The last time back-to-back declines occurred was when orders dropped for four straight months from February through May, 1986. February’s decline was the biggest monthly drop since a 7.4% decline in July, 1988.
Orders were down in nearly all major industries last month, with falling demand for transportation equipment accounting for most of the decline.
Analysts were watching February’s durable goods report for further indications of a long-awaited economic slowdown that would help ease inflationary pressures.