WASHINGTON -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods dropped in May, reversing two months of gains and delivering more bad news for American manufacturers, the Commerce Department says.
"Capital spending remains in the doldrums and that is even before the known unknowns with the UK and the fate of the EU," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, emailed.
Demand for durable goods slid 2.2 percent last month after rising 3.3 percent in April and 2 percent in March. A category that tracks business investment also fell for the second straight month. Durable goods, such as cars and dishwashers, are meant to last at least three years.
American manufacturing has been hurt by cutbacks in the energy industry, a response to low oil and gas prices, and by a strong dollar, which makes American products costlier in foreign markets. Britain's vote to leave the European Union Thursday is likely to push the dollar even higher.