Demand for big-ticket items manufactured in the US suffered its biggest fall for seven months in August, the Commerce Department said.
The biggest faller was orders for commercial aircraft
Orders for durable goods, which include everything from washing machines to commercial jets, fell by a bigger-than-expected 4.9%.
The figures stoked concerns that the downturn in the housing market is spreading into the rest of the economy.
It means another interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve may be needed.
The Fed unexpectedly cut rates by half a percentage point last week in an attempt to prevent the downturn becoming a full-blown recession.
New York shares rose in early trading on hopes that there might now be another rate cut.
Durable goods are defined as manufactured products that are expected to last at least three years.
August's fall followed two months of rises, which were attributed to car dealers ordering stockpiles of new cars ahead of possible strikes.
The biggest faller last month was transportation equipment, which was largely down to a 41% fall in demand for commercial aircraft.
Excluding the volatile transportation category, orders would have been down by 1.8%.