Business Investment Proxy Jumps Highest Since Jan/13
According to the Commerce Department, orders to U.S. factories advanced strongly in March for a second month while demand in a key category that signals business investment plans increased by the largest amount in more than a year. The strength was further evidence that the economy was rebounding after a harsh winter.
Orders increased $5.3 billion or 1.1% in March after increasing 1.5% in February. Those gains followed two months of declines in December and January. Orders for core capital goods, considered a good proxy for business investment, jumped 3.5% in March, rebounding from a 0.9% drop in February. It was the biggest increase since January 2013.
Economists say rising demand will boost factory production in coming months, helping the overall economy emerge from a winter slowdown.
Transportation equipment led the increase in shipments of manufactured durable goods in March, up $1.0 billion or 1.5% to $70.0 billion. Overall shipments in March, up two consecutive months, increased $2.8 billion or 1.2%.
For the full Commerce Department report, click here.