WASHINGTON - Orders to U.S. factories fell in May, ending three months of gains.
The Commerce Department reports that orders fell 0.5 percent, pulled down by falling demand for military and transportation equipment. That followed increases of 0.8 percent in April, 1.5 percent in March and 1.7 percent in February.
Excluding military hardware, factory orders rose 0.2 percent in May from April. Orders for transportation equipment fell 2.9 percent.
Orders for durable goods, meant to last six months or more, fell 0.9 percent in May. Orders for nondurable goods slipped 0.2 percent.
Over the past year, factory orders were up 2.5 percent.
U.S. factories have been busy. The Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday that manufacturing expanded in June for the 13th straight month, though the pace of growth slowed from May.