Durable goods ordered last month in the U.S rose less than expected as demand remained weak.
Data from the Commerce Department showed items meant to last at least three years rose 0.8 percent last month, weaker than 1.9 percent forecast by economists.
Businesses continue to struggle amid weak global sales, even though consumer spending is moderate its difficult to justify expanding plans for capital outlays.
“At best you’re treading water here,” said Jacob Oubina, a senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, whose forecast for business equipment orders was among the closest in the Bloomberg survey. “There is a general carving out of a bottom in the weakness that’s plagued the manufacturing space, but I don’t think we’re heading into a significantly more upbeat backdrop unless you start to see a firmer recovery in oil.”
Core durable goods excluding transportation equipment declined 0.2 percent for second straight month. Orders for military capital equipment’s reportedly surged 48.4 percent in the month of March, the most since April 2014.
Another data from the Federal Reserve showed that factory production declined last month by the most in more than a year.
This weakness explained the 29,000 drop in the number of employees on manufacturing payrolls last month after 18,000 decline was recorded in February.