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This Jan. 22, 2018, file photo shows a Whirlpool microwave and oven on display in the appliance section of a Lowe's in Wexford, Pa. Image credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell 3.7 percent in January, the biggest decline since July 2017, following two months of increases that reflected strength in the country's industry.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders were depressed by a 10 percent drop in demand for transportation equipment, a category that can bounce around from month to month. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders slipped only 0.3 percent. Orders for defense capital goods plunged 26.3 percent. Excluding defense, new durable goods orders fell 2.7 percent.

Overall orders in January for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years, decreased 3.7 percent to $239.7 billion. Orders were up 5.8 percent for the full year 2017, the best showing in six years.

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