New orders for goods made in American factories plunged in April and the decline in business investment on equipment was steeper than previously thought.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday factory orders in April fell 13.0 percent, the biggest month-to-month fall in records dating to 1992. Orders fell 11 percent in March, revised down from the initially reported then record-setting 10.3 percent decline.
The decline was slightly less than the 14 percent forecast by economists.
Business investment was weaker than it looked in last week’s initial reading. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for business investment, fell 6.1 percent compared with the prior estimate of a 5.8 percent decline.
Durable goods orders were revised down from a 17.2 percent decline to a 17.7 percent decline.
Wednesday’s data included the first look at nondurable goods orders. These fell 9 percent.
The overall picture is one of an economy in deep contraction in April and March. But data since then suggest the economy probably hit rock bottom in that period and has been recovering as businesses have been permitted to reopen.