MW: U.S. Aug. factory orders drop 4%, most in 2 years
By Rex Nutting
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Demand for U.S. factory goods dropped at the fastest rate in two years in August on much lower orders for metals, machinery and vehicles, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Factory orders fell 4%, worse than the 3% drop expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Orders for durable goods fell 4.8% in August, revised lower from the 4.5% estimate provided a week ago. Shipments and orders for nondurable goods fell 3.3%, largely because of lower prices for crude oil and gasoline. Excluding the 9.1% drop in transportation orders, factory orders fell 3.3%, the biggest drop since September 2001.