WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Durable goods orders dropped sharply in January for the third time out of the past four months, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The drop of 1 percent to $225 billion was not as steep as the 1.5 percent decline that was expected or the 5.3 percent decline in December.
Big-ticket transportation orders drove the decline, dropping 5.6 percent or by $4 billion to $67.3 billion.
With the drop in transportation orders at $4 billion and the overall drop at $2.2 billion, it follows that excluding transpiration orders, fresh business for long-lasting factory goods rose in the month. Excluding transportation, orders for goods lasting three years or more rose 1.1 percent, the department said.
Taking defense orders out of the mix left new durable good orders with a 1.8 percent decrease.
Shipments of durable goods, down for two consecutive months after four months of gains, fell by $900 million or 0.4 percent to $232.3 billion.
Unfilled orders, up 12 of the past 12 months, rose 0.1 percent in the month or by $600 million to reach nearly $1.06 trillion.
Machinery drove the increase with a gain of 1.8 percent to $112 billion.
Capital goods orders, which represent businesses investing in themselves, fell 3.9 percent or by $3.2 billion to $78.3 billion.