New orders for U.S.-made durable goods fell a much greater-than-expected 2.4 percent in July as civilian aircraft and car orders tumbled, a government report showed on Thursday.

It was the first decline in orders for durable goods, items built to last three years or longer, in three months, a report by the Commerce Department said. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting durable goods orders to fall by 0.5 percent.

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Excluding the transportation category, durable goods orders rose a stronger-than-expected 0.5 percent as motor vehicle and parts orders dropped 7.0 percent and civilian aircraft orders slid 10.0 percent. Analysts were expecting a 0.3 percent rise in durable goods outside transportation.

When defense orders were stripped out, durable goods orders unexpectedly fell 1.9 percent as defense aircraft and parts orders rose 9 percent. Analysts were expecting a 0.5 percent rise in durable goods orders excluding defense.

At the same time, non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, seen as a signal of business spending, rose a much larger-than-expected 1.5 percent. Analysts had forecast a 0.4 percent rise in the category.

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