WASHINGTON — American businesses ordered fewer long-lasting manufactured goods in January, cutting their demand for aircraft, autos and machinery. But a key category that reflects business investment rose a solid 1.7 percent. Demand for electronic products and fabricated metals such as steel rose.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods declined a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in January compared with December. Much of last month’s decline was driven by a 20.2 percent drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile month-to-month category. Orders for all transportation-related equipment fell 5.6 percent.
Cold weather has limited manufacturing output this winter, delaying shipments of raw materials and causing some factories to temporarily shut down.