Orders for durable or long-lasting U.S. goods fell in February for the third time in four months, showing little sign that businesses are willing to spend and invest in a more aggressive manner. Durable-goods orders declined by a seasonally adjusted 1.4% last month. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected orders to edge up 0.1%. Lower demand for large commercial aircraft and autos accounted for most of the decline in orders last month, though the report was weak all around. Omitting the volatile transportation sector, orders still fell by 0.4% and were negative for the fifth month in a row, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Orders for core capital goods - a proxy for business investment - decreased 1.4% in February and fell for the sixth straight month. Yet shipments of core capital goods, a category used to help determine quarterly economic growth, edged up 0.2% last month. In January, the increase in durable-goods orders was lowered to 2% from 2.8%.
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