US orders for long-lasting goods fall 2.1% in April

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for large manufactured goods fell sharply last month, pulled down by lower demand for commercial aircraft and cars.

The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for durable goods — or items meant to last at least three years — fell 2.1%, after rising 1.7% in March. Orders also fell steeply in February.

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Aircraft orders, typically a volatile category, plummeted 25.1%, after a more modest gain of 7.8% in the previous month. Orders for cars and auto parts fell 3.4%, the biggest drop in nearly a year. And a category that tracks business investment declined 0.9%, the most since December.

The data suggest companies are spending less on big-ticket items, likely in part because of the uncertainties raised by the U.S.-China trade war.

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