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March 6, 2013 11:00 AM, EST
Factory Orders Fall by Most in Five Months

Factory orders fell 2% in January, the biggest decline in five months, slowed by lower commercial aircraft orders, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The decline followed a revised 1.3% increase in December that was smaller than first reported.

The January drop was below economists’ forecast of a 2.3% downturn, Bloomberg News reported.

The overall figure was weighed down by lower commercial aircraft orders. Excluding transportation equipment, orders rose 1.3%, Bloomberg reported. 

Orders for capital goods excluding aircraft and military equipment, a measure of future business investment, jumped 7.2%, the biggest gain since September 2004.

Demand for durable goods fell 4.9%, while non-durables climbed 0.6% on gains in petroleum and chemicals, Bloomberg said.

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