Durable goods orders drop 2.5 percent

U.S. factories saw a disappointing drop in demand for their products in December, reflecting weakness in demand for commercial and military aircraft.

The Commerce Department says that orders to factories for long-lasting durable goods dropped 2.5 percent last month after an even larger 3.1 percent decline in November. The weakness in both months reflected big declines in demand for aircraft.

Excluding the transportation sector, orders rose 0.5 percent in December following a 4.5 percent jump in orders outside of transportation in November.