Orders for goods from U.S. factories dropped in April, falling to the lowest level in six months.
The Commerce Department announced on Monday that orders for manufactured products slipped 0.6% in April to $465.98 billion. That disappointed economists who had forecast factory orders to remain flat from the month before, the Wall Street Journal noted.
Factory orders for March were also revised downward from a previously announced decline of 1.5% to a fall of 2.1%.
Shipments from U.S. factories in April slid 0.3%. Inventories at U.S. factories remained flat during the month, but unfilled orders fell 0.1%.
Durable good orders were flat in April. But that represented a lower number than earlier government predictions of a 0.2% gain. Orders for durable goods dropped 3.7% in March.
Orders for military equipment tumbled 21.5% in April. Non-defense manufacturing fell 0.2% during the month.
During the month, the government reported sliding demand for automobiles, computers and heavy machinery.
Automobile orders fell by 0.5% during April while airplane manufacturing and shipbuilding rose 2.2%. Without transportation-related manufacturing, April factory orders fell 1.1%