New orders taken by durable goods manufacturers probably rose by 1% in January, led by stronger auto demand. If so, it would be the sixth straight large gain in orders, including a 2.1% advance in December. The January rise is suggested by the 0.6% increase in durable goods output. Bad weather, however, likely prevented factories from shipping out goods. The MMS survey expects a 0.5% drop in shipments in January, after a 2.3% increase in December. Fewer shipments along with the rise in demand suggest the backlog of unfilled orders should increase by 1% in January, after falling for 10 consecutive months.
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