New orders for factory products tumbled much more than expected in May, posting their sharpest drop since the depth of the recession and their first decline in nine months, a government report showed on Friday.

Factory orders fell 1.4 percent in the month, the Commerce Department said, the steepest drop since March of last year. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting a more modest 0.5 percent decline.

An indicator of business spending, non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, climbed 3.9 percent.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)