Manufactured goods orders plunge.
Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in May by the largest amount in four months as demand for aircraft, heavy machinery and metals all declined.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new durable goods orders dropped by 2.8 percent last month, a far bigger drop than the 1 percent decline economists had been forecasting.
The weakness was led by a huge 22.7 percent plunge in orders for commercial aircraft, which can be extremely volatile from month to month. But orders were also down for a wide array of other goods, from primary metals such as steel to machinery and electronic appliances.
And in a potentially troubling sign for the future, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a good proxy for business investment, fell by 3 percent, the biggest drop since a 4.4 percent plunge in January.