Shipments of manufactured durable goods fell in January, according to a new advance report released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The 1.2% decline from the month before is the first drop in four months.
Much of this was due to a falloff in transportation shipments, which posted the biggest decline, following two straight monthly increases.
New orders for manufactured durable goods also fell after four consecutive monthly increases. The 5.2% decline in January compared to December was driven by a drop in new transportation orders, especially for commercial aircraft, which have fallen three out of the last four months.
When transportation orders are removed, new orders increased in January by 1.9% and is the fifth straight month they have increased.
Despite the overall down numbers, many analysts still view the report as pretty good. Marketwatch.com talked to one analyst who said it showed businesses displayed confidence overall in January because they bought a lot of big-ticket items.
Durable goods are defined as items that are designed to last at least three years.