The US manufacturing sector does not seem to have enjoyed a ‘Baghdad bounce’, judging by new Commerce Department figures.

Orders for durable goods – those designed to last more than three years – declined 2.4% in April to $168.9 billion (€143.5bn; £102.7bn), the steepest drop since September, as demand fell across most sectors. Orders excluding defence goods and aircraft (a guide to business investment) fell 3%.

Economists fear April’s decline is a sign that weakness in the manufacturing sector is due to more than the temporary factors – such as the war and bad weather – that have previously taken the blame.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff