Factory orders fall 0.9 percent in October

WASHINGTON — U.S. factories received fewer orders in October, as aircraft demand fell and businesses cut back on computers. The decline suggests companies were hesitant to invest during the 16-day partial government shutdown.

The Commerce Department said factory orders dropped 0.9 percent in October. That followed a 1.8 percent increase in September.

A big reason for the decline in October was a steep drop in orders for aircraft.

But core capital goods, which are a proxy for business investment, dropped 0.6 percent. Economists watch this category closely because it excludes volatile orders for aircraft and defense equipment.

Much of the decline in that category came from a drop in demand for computers. Demand picked up for primary metals, household appliances and oil and gas field machinery.

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