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October factory orders post 0.9 percent decline

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories fell in October by the largest amount in five months, reflecting a big drop in demand for aircraft.

The Commerce Department says that factory orders declined 0.9 percent in October, the first setback since June and the biggest decline since a 1.8 percent fall in May. The weakness was led by plunging demand for commercial and military aircraft. Excluding the transportation categories, orders were down a smaller 0.2 percent.

Manufacturing has been one of the standout performers in what has been a sub-par economic recovery. Booming export sales have helped to offset weakness in domestic demand.