April 2 (UPI) -- New orders for manufactured durable goods in February fell 1.6 percent to $250 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report that marks another sign of a possibly slowing economy.
The report, published Tuesday, follows three straight months of small increases. Durable good new orders fell by 4.3 percent in October but rebounded with increases of 0.9 percent in November, 1.3 percent in December and 0.1 percent in January.
Transportation equipment orders proved to be the main driver of the decrease, falling 4.8 percent, or $4.3 billion in February. Without transportation, new orders increased 0.1 percent for the month.
Commercial aircraft orders, an area known for large swings, fell 31 percent, before the controversy over Boeing's 737 Max aircraft, a model that crashed in Ethiopia and prompted a worldwide grounding of the planes.
Order orders increased in February, such as those for electrical equipment, appliances and primary metals used in numerous products.
The report said that shipments of manufactured durable goods in February increased 0.2 percent to $258.6 billion after they decreased in January. The shipment of computers and other electronic products showed a 1.1 percent increase.
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in February decreased $3.6 billion or 0.3 percent, which followed a 0.1 percent increase in January.
The durable goods report follows a Census Bureau retail report in February that showed sales around the holiday season fell 1.2 percent, marking its steepest decline in almost a decade. At that time, retailers faced a stock market decline, the start of the partial government shutdown and poor weather conditions.
Retail sales, though, bounced back in January, improving 0.2 percent in January, boosted by online shopping and home centers, beating Wall Street estimates.