Consumers bought fewer big-ticket items such as cars, appliances and office equipment last month, the Commerce Department reported today.
Orders for manufactured durable goods fell .8% to $161.2 billion, following an increase of 3.4%, which followed six consecutive months of declines.
Excluding transportation, new orders fell .6% and excluding defense, new orders also fell .6%.
The department said orders for transportation equipment fell 1.4%. That follows a 2% increase in February and an 11.9% decline in January.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods fell for the eighth consecutive month. They declined 1.7%, compared to a .8% drop in February.
Inventories of manufactured durable goods-which have been down for three consecutive months--fell 1.1% to $331.6 billion.