Delayed Factory Orders Report Indicate U.S. Economy Still Slowing

Factory orders in the U.S. tumbled more than expected in November, just another in a list of reports showing a slowdown in growth in the industrial segment of the stateside economy toward the end of 2018. A key measure of business investment also declined.

Washington said orders dropped 0.6% in November. Economists had forecast a 0.2% decline, largely because of lower oil prices. The report had been delayed by the 35-day partial government shutdown, coming out a month later than originally scheduled.

The government also said Monday that orders for durable goods rose a slightly revised 0.7%...or, products such as appliances and computers meant to last at least three years.

The report shows orders also fell for machinery, military hardware and vehicles.

Orders rose for primary metals, fabricated metals, computers and commercial aircraft.

It was the third drop in four months, suggesting companies were more hesitant to invest. The ongoing trade spat with China has been a major source of uncertainty and worries about a recession were especially pronounced during a market slump near year end.