New orders for factory goods fell 0.7% in January, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.4% drop. December’s orders declined 2.0%, revised from the previous report of 1.5%.
Shipments of new orders also fell in January, for the second consecutive month. Factories are idling as businesses work through excess stock; cold weather also has reduced business activity.