As tax break expires, U.S. businesses reduce orders for machinery and equipment.
A big reason for the decline was demand for so-called core capital goods, which are viewed as a good measure of business investment plans, tumbled 4.5 percent. That's the biggest drop in a year.
Economists attributed much of the decline in January to the end of the tax credit. They noted that demand for core capital goods hit an all-time high in December as most companies raced to qualify for the tax credit. Many said the underlying trend remained strong and predicted further business investment in the coming months.
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