New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made manufactured goods fell by 5.3 percent in January, the biggest slump in five months and more than analysts expected, and a key gauge of business spending also declined, a Commerce Department report showed on Wednesday.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a proxy for business investment, declined 1.4 percent.
For overall durable goods orders, analysts polled by Reuters forecast a 4.0 percent decline. It was the biggest monthly decrease since a matching decline last August.
Orders in the transportation category, which includes civilian and military aircraft, fell 13.4 percent, the largest drop since October 2006.
Excluding the volatile transportation category, the decline in durable goods orders was a more modest 1.6 percent. But excluding defense orders, durables demand fell by 4.7 percent.
Analysts had forecast durable orders excluding transportation to decrease 1.3 percent and orders excluding defense to fall 1.2 percent.