Orders for US manufactured goods fell 0.8% in February, the Commerce Department said on Monday. This was the first decline since the depth of the coronavirus recession last April. Orders increased 2.7% in January. Economists had expected a 0.6% drop in factory orders for February.
Durable goods orders fell a revised 1.2% in February, slightly weaker than the initial estimate of a 1.1% decline. Non-durable goods orders fell 0.4% in the month. Non-defensive capital goods orders, excluding aircraft, fell a revised 0.9% in February, slightly below the previous estimate of a 0.8% decline. Economists attributed February’s weakness to cold weather. The lack of key supplies may also have played a role. The manufacturing sector is expected to recover quickly. Stocks opened strongly higher on Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, + 1.03% above about 300 points.