New orders for U.S.-made goods recorded their biggest decline in six months in January and business spending on equipment appeared to be slowing after strong growth in 2017.
Factory goods orders fell 1.4 percent amid a broad decrease in demand, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. That was the largest drop since July 2017 and followed five straight monthly increases. Factory orders rose 1.8 percent in December.
January's drop in orders was broadly in line with economists' expectations. Orders surged 8.4 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which are seen as a measure of business spending plans, fell 0.3 percent in January instead of declining 0.2 percent as reported last month. Orders for these so-called core capital goods decreased 0.5 percent in December.
That was the first back-to-back drop since May 2016. Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate business equipment spending in the gross domestic product report, slipped 0.1 percent in January instead of edging up 0.1 percent as reported last month.
Core capital goods shipments increased 0.7 percent in December.
Prices of U.S. Treasuries rose after the data, while the dollar held at lower levels against a basket of currencies. U.S. stock indexes were trading slightly higher.