A key gauge of capital goods orders by U.S. businesses recorded its biggest drop in eight months in September, but the surprise decline was likely to be temporary as business sentiment has been upbeat in recent months.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 1.7 percent last month.
That was the largest decline in the so-called core capital goods since January of this year, and it followed a 0.3 percent increase in August.
The drop last month confounded Wall Street’s expectations for a 0.6 percent gain and was at odds with business surveys that have showed increased business appetite for capital investment.
U.S. stock futures trimmed gains, while U.S. Treasury prices narrowed losses after the data. The U.S. dollar hit a session low against the euro.
With core capital goods declining, overall orders for durable goods – items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more – fell 1.3 percent.
It was the second straight month of declines after August’s 18.3 percent tumble. Durable goods orders have been volatile in recent months because of big swings in aircraft orders.
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