U.S. business spending on equipment appeared to have remained slow in September and the goods trade deficit widened further as rising imports outpaced a rebound in exports, suggesting economic growth moderated in the third quarter.
But the growth pace in the last quarter was probably solid, with other data on Thursday showing gains in both wholesale and retail inventories last month. A tightening labor market, which is steadily lifting wage growth, is also supporting the economy.
The Commerce Department said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dipped 0.1 percent last month amid weakening demand for fabricated metals and electrical equipment, appliances and components.
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