WASHINGTON (AP) - Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods dropped in August with weakness in a key category that tracks business investment plans.

WASHINGTON (AP) Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods dropped in August with weakness in a key category that tracks business investment plans.

The Commerce Department says that orders for durable goods fell 2 percent in August compared to July when orders had risen by 1.9 percent. A key category that serves as a proxy for business investment edged down 0.2 percent last month after gains of 2.1 percent in July and 1.5 percent in June.

The underlying demand for manufactured goods has been weaker this year as a strong dollar and China's economic slowdown have dragged down demand for American exports and big declines in oil prices have resulted in cutbacks in investment by energy companies.