Boeing civilian aircraft orders slump

Sept. 24, 2010 at 3:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- While Boeing's U.S. defense contracts remain solid, its civilian aircraft sales have recently slumped.

According to company information, last month Boeing received only 10 orders for civilian aircraft, down from 130 bookings in July, reported Friday.

Judged by income, Boeing is the largest global aircraft manufacturer by orders and deliveries and the world's third largest aerospace and defense contractor, as well as the largest exporter by value in the United States.

The August fall off in civilian aircraft orders represented a 40.2 percent decline in non-military aircraft orders following a 69.1 percent surge in July.

Boeing's military contracts were also affected, as bookings for military aircraft fell 2.7 percent during the same period.

Analysts attributed the August downturn to ongoing weak private sector employment, retail sales and home sales.

Further complicating the picture for Boeing are U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' recent pronouncements about shifting defense spending to "make tough choices about specific systems and defense priorities based solely on the national interest and then stick to those decisions over time," which heavily affected Boeing because of the company's massive involvement with canceled U.S. Air Force projects.

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