New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods fell in August after four straight months of strong gains, while shipments barely rose, but that will probably not change expectations of solid growth in business spending on equipment in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Thursday that orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.5 percent last month, pulled down by a decline in demand for computers and electronic products.
There was also a decrease in motor vehicle orders. Data for July was revised slightly lower to show the so-called core capital goods orders increasing 1.5 percent instead of the previously reported 1.6 percent surge.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders rising 0.4 percent last month. Core capital goods orders increased 7.4 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Shipments of core capital goods edged up 0.1 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.1 percent gain in July. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement. They were previously reported to have increased 1.0 percent in July.