Durable goods orders fell in July as orders for commercial aircraft plunged.
Orders declined 6.8% to $229.2 billion from an adjusted $245.9 billion in June, according to a monthly report by the US Commerce Department. It was the third decline in the past four months.
Leading the slide was a 71% plunge in commercial aircraft and parts to $7.37 billion, down from $25.1 billion in June.
The results were the total opposite from the month before. In June, commercial aircraft orders more than doubled compared with May, leading an overall monthly increase in durable goods orders.
The overall transportation equipment category fell 19% in July to $74.3 billion. The category also has declined three of the past four months.
Within transportation, orders for defense aircraft and parts gained 48% to $5.5 billion while orders for motorized vehicles and parts fell 1.2% to $53.6 billion.
Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 0.5%, according to the report. Excluding defense, orders slid 7.8%.
Over the past two years, commercial aircraft and the auto industry were the strongest performers among manufacturing industries. That’s changed in 2017. With the auto industry, US light-vehicle sales have softened after reaching a record 17.55 million last year.
Among other categories, new orders for fabricated metal products rose 1% to $32.8 billion. Orders for primary metals were about he same at $19.5 billion. Orders for machinery declined 1.4% to $31.4 billion.