WASHINGTON (AP) - Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods tumbled in December, with a key category that tracks business investment plans falling for a second straight month.

WASHINGTON (AP) Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods tumbled in December, with a key category that tracks business investment plans falling for a second straight month.

The Commerce Department says durable goods orders dropped 5.1 percent in December following a 0.5 percent decline in November.

Durable goods orders have fallen in four of the past five months, reflecting the pressures facing American manufacturers from a strong dollar and spreading global economic weakness. Both of those factors have hurt export sales.

The category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans dropped 4.3 percent in December after a 1.1 percent decline in November.