Durable goods orders rose 0.8% in March, according to preliminary data from the Department of Commerce.
Excluding transportation, orders fell 0.2%.
Economists had forecast that orders for goods built to last rose 1.9%, according to Bloomberg. Excluding transportation orders, they forecast a 0.5% rise.
Headline orders were dragged down by the computers and nondefense aircraft categories.
Capital goods orders for nondefense items excluding aircraft were flat, while shipments of the so-called core capital goods category rose 0.3%.
Core capital goods orders had been estimated at 0.6%, while shipments were estimated to have climbed 0.9%.
And so, all round, a weaker-than-expected report. There were also downward revisions to the previous month’s data, with core goods orders lowered to -2.7% from -2.5%.
Deutsche Bank economists had noted that without any big upward revisions to previous data, the Fed’s statement due Wednesday would likely repeat that “business fixed investment and net exports have been soft.”
John Herrmann at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities thinks a lot of Q1 GDP forecasts will be cut after this report. The advance estimate due on Thursday is expected to show the economy grew by just 0.6%.