Orders for big-ticket durable goods slipped unexpectedly in November for the first time in three months as demand for electronic equipment such as circuit boards and communications gear waned.
The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for durable goods fell 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted $171.8 billion. It was the first decline since a 3.6 percent drop in August. Many analysts had expected a 0.5 percent gain.
But the report also showed orders grew 0.5 percent in October, stronger than the department’s anemic 0.1 percent estimate a month ago.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported that new claims for jobless benefits fell by 15,000 last week to 335,000. Many analysts had expected a smaller 5,000 decline from the previous week’s 350,000 level, highest since last July.