Orders to U.S. factories dropped 2.3 percent in February, the biggest decline in seven months, the government reported Thursday.

The Commerce Department said orders for durable and non-durable manufactured goods dropped to a seasonally adjusted $230.7 billion in February after declining 1.2 percent in January.It was the first back-to-back decline since orders dropped for four straight months from February through May 1986.

Last month's decline, the biggest since a 3.6 percent drop in July, was consistent with other reports on the economy's performance in February that have pointed downward.