Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.
State and Nation Business

Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods plunge

WASHINGTON – Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell sharply last month as demand for commercial aircraft plummeted and businesses spent less on computers and electrical equipment.

Manufacturing continues to struggle and could prevent economic growth from picking up in the July-September quarter.

Orders for durable goods plunged 7.3 percent in July, the Commerce Department said Monday. It’s the steepest drop in nearly a year. Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders fell just 0.6 percent. Both declines followed three straight months of increases.

Durable goods are items meant to last at least three years.

Economists tend to focus on orders for so-called core capital goods. Those orders fell 3.3 percent, but the drop followed four straight months of gains.

Core capital goods are considered a good measure of businesses’ confidence in the economy. They include items that point to expansion – such as machinery, computers and heavy trucks – while excluding volatile orders for aircraft and defense.

The big drop suggests the third quarter is off to a weaker start than some had hoped. While economists cautioned that it’s just one month of data, a few lowered growth estimates for the quarter.

Loading more