U.S. orders for long-lasting or durable goods fell a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in September amid widespread softness in the manufacturing sector. Although the dip was smaller than the 2.3% decline forecast by a MarketWatch poll of economists, orders for August were also revised lower. Booking in August fell 3% instead of 2.3%, revised Commerce Department figures show. The auto industry was one of the few bright spots again, with orders snapping back 1.8% after a decline in August. Bookings for commercial aicraft sank 35.7%, however. Stripping out transportation, U.S. durable-goods orders slipped 0.4% last month. Orders minus defense fell a larger 2%. Orders for core capital goods - a proxy for business investment - retreated 0.3% to mark the second straight drop. Yet shipments of core capital goods, a category used to help determine quarterly economic growth, rose 0.5% in September.
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