New orders for U.S. factory goods fell in May on weak demand for transportation and defense capital goods, but growing order backlogs and lean inventories suggested the worst of the manufacturing downturn was probably over.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new orders for manufactured goods declined 1.0 percent after two straight months of increases.
April’s orders were revised slightly down to show a 1.8 percent increase instead of the previously reported 1.9 percent jump. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast factory orders falling 0.9 percent in May.
The department also said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.4 percent in May instead of the 0.7 percent drop reported last month. These so-called core capital goods are seen as a measure of business confidence and spending plans on equipment.