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Completed helicopters awaiting delivery are seen in a hangar at the Robinson Helicopter manufacturing plant in Torrance, Calif., Friday, Feb. 29, 2008.

Reed Saxon/Reed Saxon/AP

New orders for U.S. factory goods fell in October for the second straight month, suggesting a possible softening in the manufacturing sector, which has supported the economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said on Monday orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.4 per cent after a 0.1 per cent drop in September.

Economists had forecast orders would fall 0.3 per cent after a previously reported 0.3 per cent increase in September.

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The report showed orders excluding transportation rose 0.2 per cent.

Orders for transportation equipment dipped 5.1 per cent in October as demand for civilian aircraft dropped 16.8 per cent. Orders for motor vehicle and parts rose 2.3 per cent.

The department said orders for durable goods, manufactured products expected to last three years or more, fell 0.5 per cent, a smaller decline than initially estimated. Durable goods orders excluding transportation were up a revised 1.1 per cent, stronger than the initial report in November. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.8 per cent, a more modest decline than originally reported.

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