WASHINGTON- New orders for U.S.-made capital goods were unexpectedly unchanged in December, suggesting a loss of momentum in business spending on equipment amid shortages.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the unchanged reading last month in orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, followed a 0.3% gain in November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast these so-called core capital goods orders increasing 0.4%.

Shipments of core capital goods jumped 1.3% last month after rising 0.4% in November. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the GDP measurement.

The data was included in the advance fourth-quarter GDP report published on Thursday.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((Lucia.Mutikani@thomsonreuters.com))