04-04-2016, 01:15 PM
U.S. factory data signals further slowdown in economic growth
The Commerce Department said on Monday new orders formanufactured goods declined 1.7 percent as demand fell broadly, reversingJanuary's downwardly revised 1.2 percent increase. Orders have declined in 14of the last 19 months. They were previously reported to have increased 1.6percent in January.
The department also said orders for non-defense capital goodsexcluding aircraft fell by a steeper 2.5 percent in February instead of the 1.8percent drop reported last month. These so-called core capital goods are seenas a measure of business confidence and spending plans.
"This morning's report suggests a more sluggishmanufacturing sector in the early part of the quarter," said JesseHurwitz, an economist at Barclays in New York.
The report added to weak consumer spending and trade data insuggesting economic growth moderated further at the turn of the year afterslowing to a 1.4 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter. Estimates forfirst-quarter gross domestic product growth are currently below a 1 percentrate.