Drop in US durable goods orders

US durable goods orders decreased by $1.9bn (£1.17bn), or 0.9 per cent, to $200bn last month after an upwardly revised 3.6 per cent in January, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Meanwhile, initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000. The four-week moving average of unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in more than two and a half years.