(REUTERS) - New orders for factory goods fell in October for the second straight month, suggesting a possible softening in the manufacturing sector, which has supported the economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said on Monday orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.4 percent after a 0.1 percent drop in September.

Economists had forecast orders would fall 0.3 percent after a previously reported 0.3 percent increase in September.

The report showed orders excluding transportation rose 0.2 percent.

Orders for transportation equipment dipped 5.1 percent in October as demand for civilian aircraft dropped 16.8 percent. Orders for motor vehicle and parts rose 2.3 percent.

The department said orders for durable goods, manufactured products expected to last three years or more, fell 0.5 percent, a smaller decline than initially estimated. Durable goods orders excluding transportation were up a revised 1.1 percent, stronger than the initial report in November. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.8 percent, a more modest decline than originally reported.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Neil Stempleman)