Published: Oct 04, 2010 4:53 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2010 1:53 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Orders to U.S. factories fell in August, reflecting a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft. But outside of the volatile transportation sector, orders rose for the first time since March.

The Commerce Department says that factory orders fell 0.5 percent in August, the third drop in the past four months. Orders had been up 0.4 percent in July.

The weakness came from a big decline in demand for commercial aircraft and a drop in demand for motor vehicles. However, outside of transportation, orders posted a solid 0.9 percent increase.