WASHINGTON (AP) - Companies ordered more machinery, computers and communication equipment in August, while cutting demand for autos and primary metals. That left demand for longer-lasting factory goods relatively flat for the month.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods slipped 0.1 percent last month. That followed a 4.1 gain in July, the biggest increased since March.
In one bright spot, demand in a key category that signals business investment plans rose 1.1 percent August after having been down in July.
Manufacturing had been one of the leading sectors since the recession officially ended two years ago. But factory growth slowed this spring and summer, partly because of supply disruptions from Japan, but also because consumer demand weakened.