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Durable Goods Orders Dive

New orders fall 8.3% in October.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October had a more pronounced decline than had been expected, led by a plunge in transportation equipment.

Durable goods are items designed to last for three or more years. Orders fell last month by $19 billion, or 8.3%, to $210 billion, according to data from the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

Economists had been anticipating a 5% drop in durables orders.

Orders had risen the previous two months, including an 8.7% increase in September. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 1.7% in October. Stripping out defense, orders dropped 6.4%. Transportation equipment had the largest decline, falling by $16.5 billion, or 21.7%, to $59.7 billion.

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Also weighing on the headline number were a 25.6% drop in orders for computers and related products and a 16.9% falloff in orders for communications equipment.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in October, up two of the last three months, increased $1.2 billion, or 0.6%, to $210 billion. Unfilled orders for durable goods, up 17 of the last 18 months, rose 1.2% to $666 billion.

Durables inventories, higher in nine of the last 10 months, climbed 0.8% to $293.8 billion.