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US durable goods orders resumed growth in March: govt

·1-min read
Orders for nondefense aircraft such as Boeing jets decreased in March, US government data showed (AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN) (ROSLAN RAHMAN)

Orders for big-ticket manufactured items picked up steam again last month, as businesses reported more demand for a variety of goods, according to US government data released Tuesday.

Durable goods orders climbed 0.8 percent in March, the Commerce Department said, less than analysts had expected but a reversal from the nearly two percent decline in the month prior, which the data showed was less severe than first reported.

Orders have increased for five of the past six months, and Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said the data point to a "quite strong" growth trend for factories.

"The latest problems in China aren't helping, but domestic demand for durable goods is robust, so the recovery in manufacturing output is set to continue," he wrote in analysis.

Leading the increase were orders for computers and electronic products, which rose 2.6 percent, while electrical equipment and appliances gained 3.9 percent and motor vehicles and parts orders increased five percent despite the ongoing semiconductor shortage.

However, orders for nondefense aircraft and parts, such as Boeing jets, dropped 9.9 percent, while defense aircraft and parts orders plunged 25.6 percent, according to the data.

Those declines dragged down transportation equipment overall, which grew only 0.2 percent.

Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 1.1 percent last month. Excluding defense equipment, they climbed 1.2 percent, the report said.

cs/hs

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