FILE- In this April 11, 2018, file photo, a selection of mattresses are available for sale at a bedding store in Cranberry Township, Pa. On Wednesday, June 27, the Commerce Department releases its May report on durable goods. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Orders for US durable goods fall for 2nd straight month

June 27, 2018 - 8:39 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods declined for the second straight month in May, as demand for cars, metal products and aircraft fell.

The Commerce Department says durable goods orders — items meant to last at least three years, from washing machines to tractors — dropped 0.6 percent last month. That followed a steeper drop of 1 percent in April. A category that tracks business investment slipped 0.2 percent, after a healthy gain of 2.3 percent in April.

Even with May's decline, factory output has expanded this year. Businesses and consumers are increasingly confident and are spending more.

Still, American manufacturers are in the center of a growing storm over international trade, as the Trump administration and Europe, China and Mexico slap punitive tariffs on each other's factory goods.

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