U.S. Durable Goods Orders Slump Most in 3 Years [View all]
Orders for U.S. durable goods fell in January by the most in three years, led by a slowdown in demand for commercial aircraft and business equipment.
Bookings (DGNOCHNG) for goods meant to last at least three years slumped 4 percent, more than forecast, after a revised 3.2 percent gain the prior month, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 1 percent decline, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
The expiration at the end of 2011 of a tax incentive allowing full depreciation on equipment purchases may have prompted a slowdown in investment at the start of this year. At the same time, a strengthening auto industry may help keep factories at the forefront of the expansion that began in June 2009.
“The expected weakness may not last, as the weak start to the quarter has tended to give way to a stronger end over the last 2 1/2 years since the recession ended,” Jonathan Basile, a senior economist at Credit Suisse in New York, said in an e-mail.