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Economic Report: Durable-goods orders slump 1.6% in February and investment slackens again

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Orders for durable goods sank in February.

The numbers: Orders for durable, or long-lasting, goods fell in February for the first time in four months and business investment continued to soften, reflecting a slower U.S. economy early in the new year.

Durable-goods orders sank 1.6%, largely because of fewer bookings for commercial aircraft and defense-related hardware, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 2.1% decline.

Stripping out transportation, orders rose a scant 0.1%. Transportation often exaggerates the ups and downs in orders because of lumpy demand from one month to the next.

What happened: Orders plunged 31% for commercial aircraft, a category that often sees large swings.

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