Orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell 0.8% in February, the Commerce Department said Monday. This was the first decline since the depth of the coronavirus recession last April. Orders were up 2.7% in January.
Economists were expecting a 0.6% decline in February factory orders.
Durable-goods orders fell a revised 1.2% in February, slightly weaker than the initial estimate of a 1.1% decline. Orders for nondurable goods were down 0.4% in the month.
Orders for nondefense capital goods, excluding aircraft, fell a revised 0.9% in February, down slightly from the prior estimate of a 0.8% decline.
Economists blamed the weakness in February on cold weather. The lack of key supplies may also have placed a role. The factory sector is expected to rebound quickly.
Stocks opened up sharply higher on Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average
up about 300 points.