Orders for U.S. durable goods climb 3.4% in January

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Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft …

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Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft

WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft. A category that tracks business investment posted a more modest gain, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Orders for civilian aircraft and parts jumped 389.9%. Excluding transportation equipment, which can bounce wildly from month to month, durable goods orders were up a solid 1.4%.

“Durable goods are putting the pandemic in the rearview mirror,” economists Oren Klachkin and Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics said in a research note, adding that “factory activity will expand solidly in the near term, driven by hearty consumer demand for goods and inventory restocking.” President Joe Biden’s financial relief package, being debated in Congress, is likely to “pad consumers’ wallets and buoy the near-term outlook.”

A category economists watch for hints at future investment — orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft — rose 0.5%.

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