A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed a much steeper than expected drop in new orders for U.S. manufactured goods in the month of November.
The Commerce Department said factory orders tumbled by 1.8 percent in November after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.4 percent in October.
Economists had expected factory orders to slump by 0.9 percent compared to the 1.0 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.
The sharp pullback in factory orders came as new orders for durable goods plunged by 2.1 percent, led by a 6.3 percent nosedive in orders for transportation equipment. Orders for non-durable goods also dove by 1.4 percent.
The report also said shipments of manufactured goods fell by 0.6 percent in November after inching up by 0.2 percent in October.
Meanwhile, inventories of manufactured goods showed a slight increase in November after rising by 0.4 percent in the previous month.
The inventories-to-shipments ratio subsequently crept up to 1.47 in November from 1.46 in October.