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P.M. Briefing : Factory Orders for Durable Goods Slip 3.6% in Feb., Most in 7 Months

From Times Wire Services

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.

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Analysts were watching February’s durable goods report for further indications of a long-awaited economic slowdown that would help ease inflationary pressures.


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