Orders for manufactured goods fell sharp 1.1% in February

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods fell a sharp 1.1% in February with demand in a key sector that tracks business investment also dropping.

Orders for durable goods declined last month for the first time after nine consecutive monthly gains including a sizable 3.5% rise in January, the Commerce Department reported today.

The drop was larger than expected but likely was adversely effected by the severe winter storms that hit much of the country last month as well as continued supply-chain problems.

The category that covers business investment dropped 0.8% in February following solid gains of 0.6% in January and 1.5% in December.