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February 4, 2014 10:20 AM, EST
Factory Orders Decline by Most in Five Months
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Factory orders declined 1.5% in December, the biggest drop in five months, the Commerce Department reported Feb. 4.

The decline followed a revised 1.5% rise in November. Orders for durable goods, items meant to last three years or more, declined 4.2% in December.

Analysts say the decline reflects a temporary slowdown following a rush to purchase capital goods in November to take advantage of expiring federal tax breaks, the Associated Press reported.

Orders for construction machinery declined 2.9%, and demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile category, dropped 17.5%.

Orders for 2013 increased 2.5% to $5.82 trillion as manufacturing continues to recover from the Great Recession, AP reported.

The trucking industry relies on factory orders and shipments for much of its business.