A gauge of U.S. business investment plans fell for a second straight month in September, the latest indication that economic growth braked sharply in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, slipped 0.3 percent last month after a downwardly revised 1.6 percent decline in August.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast these so-called core capital goods unchanged after a previously reported 0.8 percent drop in August.
Manufacturing has been hobbled by a strong dollar and spending cuts in the energy sector. Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the economy, has also been hit by efforts by businesses to reduce an inventory bulge and by slowing global demand.
The downbeat report added to weak trade, retail sales and industrial production data that have suggested the economy lost significant momentum in the third quarter.