New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods fell unexpectedly in October, according to government data on Wednesday that reinforced views of a gradual economic recovery from recession.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders dropped 0.6 percent after rising by an upwardly revised 2.0 percent in September. New orders in September were previously reported to have increased 1.4 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast orders rising 0.5 percent in October. Durable goods orders are a leading indicator of manufacturing activity, which in turn provides a good measure for overall business health.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)