Durable goods orders declined 5.7% in March, reversing 4.3% growth in February and adding to evidence of a slowing economy. The drop was the steepest in seven months and is seen by some as a result of government budget cutbacks. "We have seen a considerable loss of momentum in the economy, and that has been obvious in the round of data we had over the last four weeks or so," said Jacob Oubina, a senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.

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