U.S. core capital goods orders, shipments slip in May

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[June 26, 2017]  WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in May and shipments also declined, suggesting a loss of momentum in the manufacturing sector halfway through the second quarter.

A Boeing 737 MAX plane is seen during a media tour of the Boeing 737 MAX at the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington December 7, 2015. Picture taken December 7, 2015. REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight - RTX1XRSX

The Commerce Department said on Monday that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dropped 0.2 percent.

These so-called core capital goods orders were revised up to show an increase of 0.2 percent for April. They were previously reported to have risen 0.1 percent.

Shipments of core capital goods fell 0.2 percent last month after rising 0.1 percent in April. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders rising 0.3 percent in May.

Overall orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or longer, fell 1.1 percent after declining 0.9 percent in April.

Last month, orders for machinery rose 0.6 percent while shipments decreased 0.3 percent. Civilian aircraft orders declined 11.7 percent and bookings for defense aircraft and parts plummeted 30.8 percent. Orders for motor vehicles and parts increased 1.2 percent.

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