U.S. business investment spending plans fell for a sixth straight month in February, likely weighed down by a strong dollar and weak global demand, which could see economists further lower their first-quarter growth estimates.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 1.4 percent last month after a revised 0.1 percent dip in January.
The so-called core capital goods orders last rose in August.
Business spending on capital goods has been hurt by a strong dollar which has cut into overseas profits of multinational companies. Lower crude prices also have acted as a drag, forcing oil firms to either delay or cut back on investment projects.
That has helped restrain economic growth early in the first quarter.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders gaining 0.3 percent last month after a previously reported 0.5 percent rise in January.