) -- New orders for durable goods grew at an anemic rate in July, according to a government report released Wednesday, as demand for items like computers and machinery dropped sharply during the month.
The Commerce Department said durable orders -- or those enduring, long-lasting, manufactured goods -- rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.3%, or about $600 million, last month to reach $193 billion. But that effort disappointed analysts and economists, who were looking for orders to grow by 3%, according to consensus projections provided by
The tepid growth, however, was better than the order drops in June and May of 0.1% and 0.7%, respectively.
But after discounting demand for transportation items, new orders actually fell by 3.8% during the month, which was far worse than the modest 0.5% uptick expected by most.
Transportation orders rose by 13.1% in July, led primarily by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft and parts. But machinery items slipped 15% and computer orders slumped 12.7% last month.
Demand for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a measure that many use as an indicator of general business spending, slipped by 8%.
The government also said shipments increased by 2.2% last month.
Stocks began the Wednesday session in negative territory, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
down 30 points, or 0.3%, at 10,010 and the
losing 5 points, or 0.5%, at 1047 soon after the opening bell.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York.
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