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Orders Signal Slowdown in U.S. Business Spending: Economy

A slump in June orders for equipment such as computers and machinery signals U.S. business investment will probably cool in the second half of the year and contribute less to the economic expansion.

Bookings for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future corporate spending, dropped 1.4 percent, the third decrease in the past four months, according to Commerce Department data issued today in Washington. Another report showed claims for unemployment benefits declined more than forecast last week, which may have resulted from difficulty adjusting data for seasonal shutdowns of auto factories.