New orders for manufactured goods in January, down three of the last four months, decreased by a smaller margin led by transportation orders, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday. New orders for manufactured goods fell 0.7 percent to 483 billion U.S. dollars. This followed a 2.0 percent December decrease. The decrease was led by orders of transportation equipment, which went down 5.7 percent to 67.2 billion U.S. dollars. New orders excluding transportation, a closely watched index as a key proxy for business investment, increased 0.2 percent, the same rate with that in December. Transportation orders are frequently volatile, which are often stripped out to get a clearer view of underlying trends. New orders for manufactured durable goods decreased 1.0 percent, unchanged from the previously published decrease. This followed a 5.3 percent December decrease. New orders for nondurable goods decreased 0.4 percent.