Weakening goods orders depress US growth hopes

The US Commerce Department has reported a 3.4% decline in durable goods orders during December, well below analyst expectations of 0.5% growth. November's figure was also revised down from a fall of 0.9% to a 2.1% decline. The key indicator of economic growth has now fallen for four out of the past five months. US orders, which include anything from heavy industrial capital goods to washing machines and food processors, declined on the back of a strong US dollar. Slackening demand from Europe and some emerging markets weighed on orders. GDP data will be released this week, with analysts expecting growth of 3% in the final quarter of 2014, following on from the 5% annualised rate in the third quarter.


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