Orders to U.S. factories declined in September, dragged by falling demand in the volatile aircraft category.
The Commerce Department says orders retreated 0.6 percent in September, after having plunged 10 percent in August, also due largely to plummeting demand for aircraft.
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There are usually dramatic monthly swings in demand for aircraft, which before falling in September and August had soared by 315.6 percent in July. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, factory orders have been flat for the past two months.
Orders at aluminum, iron and steel mills rose in September, as did demand for furniture and motor vehicles. But those gains were offset by declining orders for construction machinery, electronics products and consumer goods.