By Paul Kiernan and David Harrison
WASHINGTON--Orders for long-lasting factory goods declined in April as business investment cooled while orders for civilian aircraft fell sharply amid problems with a major Boeing Co. airliner model.
Orders for durable goods--products designed to last at least three years, such as cars and appliances--fell 2.1% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $248.4 billion in April, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 2% drop in the month.
Orders for March were revised down to a 1.7% increase from a previous estimate of a 2.6% rise. Through the first four months of 2019, demand for durable products was up 2% from the same period a year earlier.
A closely watched proxy for business investment, new orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, slipped 0.9% in April after rising a revised 0.3% in March. That measure rose 2.6% in the first four months of 2019 from a year earlier, reflecting moderate gains in capital expenditures.
Friday's report showed orders in the volatile civilian aircraft category plunging 25% in April, likely reflecting a March decision by global aviation authorities to ground Boeing's 737 MAX airliner model following two fatal crashes. Acting Federal Aviation Administration chief Daniel Elwell told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that he couldn't predict when the fleet would be back in the air.
New orders for motor vehicles and parts fell a seasonally adjusted 3.4% in April from March, while durable-goods orders excluding transportation were flat.
Orders for defense capital goods advanced 4.8% last month. Excluding defense, durable-goods orders were down 2.5%.
The Commerce Department's durable goods orders report can be found at http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3.
Write to Paul Kiernan at email@example.com and David Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 24, 2019 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)
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