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Orders for U.S. durable goods drop 3.6% in April

Orders for U.S. durable goods drop 3.6% in April (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. orders for durable goods fell 3.6% in April, mainly because of lower demand for aircraft and autos, the government reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected orders to decline by 3.0% owing to fewer bookings for Boeing aircraft and to parts-supply disruptions in the auto business related to the Japanese earthquake in March. Orders for March, meanwhile, were revised higher to show a gain of 4.4% instead of 4.1% as originally reported, according to Commerce Department data. Factoring out the volatile transportation sector, orders dropped 1.5%. Shipments of core capital equipment goods, which the government uses to help calculate gross domestic product, fell 1.7% in April.