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U.S. core capital goods orders unexpectedly fall in November – Metro US

U.S. core capital goods orders unexpectedly fall in November

Cyber Monday operations at Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New
Cyber Monday operations at Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New orders for U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in November while shipments rose modestly, suggesting that shortages were hampering business spending on equipment.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dipped 0.1% last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. These so-called core capital goods orders shot up 0.9% in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core capital goods orders rising 0.6%.

Shipments of core capital goods gained 0.3% last month after increasing 0.4% in October. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the GDP measurement.

Business spending on equipment contracted in the third quarter after four straight quarters of double-digit growth. It was weighed down by a shortage of motor vehicles. A global shortage of semiconductors is hampering motor vehicle production.

Orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more, accelerated 2.5% last month after edging up 0.1% in October. They were boosted by a 6.5% jump in orders for transportation equipment, which followed a 0.3% drop in October. Motor vehicle orders increased 1.0% after rebounding 5.8% in October.

Orders for the volatile civilian aircraft category soared 34.1% after falling 4.1% in October. Boeing reported on its website that it had received 109 aircraft orders last month compared to only 10 in October.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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