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Factory orders fall 1.5% in December, led by aircraft decline

Factory orders fall 1.5% in December, led by aircraft decline
Factory orders fell 1.5% in December, led by a decline in new orders for aircraft, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Above, a worker lines brass pieces of whistles at a factory in Columbus, Ohio. (Ty Wright / Bloomberg)

Factory orders fell 1.5% in December, led largely by a decline in orders for new aircraft, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

New orders fell $7.2 billion to $489.2 billion, the largest drop in five months. December's decline followed an increase of 1.5% the previous month, the Commerce Department said.

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Removing the transportation equipment category, which includes aircraft, new orders were actually up 0.2%.

Orders for non-defense capital goods, a proxy for business investment, declined by less than previously estimated, falling 0.6% instead of an earlier estimate of 1.3%. This followed a 3% jump in November.

Since December 2012, new factory orders for manufactured goods have expanded 2.5%.

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