Demand for U.S. factory goods fell by 1.5% in March -- the biggest drop in three years -- driven by a sharp decline in orders for commercial aircraft. But more recent data suggest the dip may be temporary.
Orders for long-lasting factory goods fell by the largest amount in three years last month, mostly because demand for commercial aircraft plunged. But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow.
Orders for factory-made goods that signal business investment plans fell for a second straight month, part of a mixed report on manufacturing in November. The drop in demand for so-called core capital goods was offset by a sharp rise in volatile airplane orders. That lifted overall factory orders 1.8 percent, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.