Orders for business equipment unexpectedly fell in December for a fourth month, signaling a global growth slowdown is weighing on American companies.
Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft dropped 0.6 percent for a second month, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Demand for all durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — declined 3.4 percent, the worst performance since August.
Slackening demand from Europe and some emerging markets is probably weighing on orders, making companies less willing to invest in new equipment. At the same time, brightening American consumer attitudes are leading to gains in purchases of big-ticket items such as automobiles and appliances that can ripple through the economy and underpin manufacturing.
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