Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Orders for durable goods in the U.S. climbed 2.6 percent in March, marking the widest gain in the last four months, and an indication of improved business spending as the warmer spring weather begins.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected orders for durable goods – which include computers, aircraft and heavy machinery — to increase 1.8 percent. Commercial-aircraft bookings jumped 8.6 percent and auto orders edged up by 0.4 percent, according to the Commerce Department report released Thursday.
Excluding the volatile transportation segment, durable-goods orders gained 2.0 percent, with gains posted in all major categories. Orders for core capital goods, a gauge of business investment, increased 2.2 percent to mark the biggest increase since November last year.
Shipments of core capital goods, a measure of quarterly economic growth, climbed 1.0 percent in March, also the biggest increase in four months. February orders were downwardly revised to a 2.1 percent gain from an earlier reading of a 2.2 percent increase.