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Durable Goods Slump in April

New orders fell 2.9%, led by a 10.9% decline in the defense category.
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New orders for manufactured durable goods slumped in April, led by a sharp decline in defense orders, following a big jump in March, according to a government report.

Durable goods orders fell 2.9% to $191.3 billion, which was far worse than economists' consensus forecast for a 0.9% decline.

The disappointing showing in April was partly offset by a sharp upward revision in March orders. The government revised its estimate to a 5.7% bump, from the initial 3.4% increase.

Defense orders fell 10.9% to $8.4 billion, while non-defense orders slid 2.7% to $62.9 billion.

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Shipments fell 0.8%, following two consecutive increases, including a 4.3% jump in March, while unfilled orders rose 0.6% for their eighth gain in nine months. Inventories rose for the fifth straight month, posting a 0.5% gain.