Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell sharply in May while demand in a category that tracks business investment rose modestly.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that orders fell 1.3% in May following an even bigger 2.8% drop in May. That weakness reflected a sharp falloff in orders for commercial aircraft, a category that has been hurt by the troubles with Boeing’s MAX aircraft, which has been grounded by global regulators after two fatal crashes.
The category that serves as a proxy for business investment edged up 0.4% in May after a 1% decline in April. It was the biggest gain since a 1.4% jump in January. Economists have been worried about a slowdown in business investment orders, believing it shows business concerns about rising trade tensions.