Orders for US-made durable goods decreased by 4.5% in August, the largest amount since the beginning of the year. It was pushed lower by weak demand across the board, as many businesses grew more cautious in their outlook. Economists were expecting a decline of 2.0% for the month.

Orders for core capital equipment, equipment businesses invest in to expand or update their productive capacity, fell 7.5% after a 3.5% gain in July. This is the biggest drop in a year. Core capital equipment orders, which exclude aircraft and non-defense goods, are the best monthly indicator of capital expenditures.

Orders for primary metals plunged 9.3%, the biggest drop since April 1993. Shipments fell 1.9% after rising 3.5%. Orders for fabricated metals fell 0.6% after a 1.1% rise in July. Shipments fell 1.5% after a 2.4% gain.

Orders for electrical equipment fell 2.2% after an 8.1% fall. Shipments fell 4.2% after a 3.4% gain. Orders for machinery fell 6.2% after growing 3.7% in July. Shipments fell 0.7% after a 1.0% decline.

Orders for transportation goods fell 8.9% after growing 2.8%. Shipments fell 7.7% after rising 2.4%.  Orders for electronics (excluding semiconductors) rose 1.9% after dropping 4.5%. Shipments (including semiconductors) fell 4.8% after rising 6.2%.

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