3-6-18 10:15 AM EST | Email Article
   By Sarah Chaney and Sharon Nunn 

WASHINGTON--Orders at U.S. factories fell in January after five consecutive monthly gains, a sign of negative momentum for the manufacturing sector.

Orders for manufactured goods decreased 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted $491.69 billion in January, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal predicted orders fell 1.5%.

Orders in December were revised to a 1.8% rise from an initial estimate of a 1.7% increase.

An upswing in consumer spending and business investment, as well as stronger overseas demand for U.S. exports, boosted the manufacturing sector last year. The improvement in capital spending was largely a result of rising oil prices.

Excluding transportation, orders were up 0.4%. Excluding defense, another volatile category, orders fell 0.8%.

Durable-goods orders dropped a revised 3.6%. Orders for nondurable goods, which includes products like fuel and drugs, increased 0.8% to $251.66 billion.

The Commerce Department report on factory orders can be accessed at http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3.

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com and Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 06, 2018 10:15 ET (15:15 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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