Bummer Summer: Durable Goods Orders Collapse

(AP) US durable orders fall, but business investment up
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON
Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged in August because of a huge drop in volatile commercial aircraft orders. But in a hopeful sign, orders that reflect business investment plans rose solidly.

The Commerce Department says total durable goods orders fell 13.2 percent in August, the biggest drop since January 2009 when the country was in recession. Aircraft orders fell by 101 percent.

Business orders for machinery, electronics and other equipment, which are a good indication of their investment plans, rose 1.1 percent. That's the first increase since May.

The overall drop in August put total orders at $198.5 billion, 33.5 percent above the recession low hit in April 2009. But manufacturing has been weakening in recent months, along with the broader economy.

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