Orders for U.S. Durable Goods Increase by Most in Six Months

Orders placed with U.S. factories for durable goods increased in December by the most in six months, providing more evidence of a bustling industrial sector.

Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years increased 2.9 percent after a 1.7 percent advance in November that was larger than previously reported, data from the Commerce Department showed Friday.

While orders for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft unexpectedly fell 0.3 percent in December, bookings for the previous month were revised to a 0.2 percent increase from a previously reported 0.2 percent decline.

For all of 2017, orders for durable goods increased 5.8 percent, the most in six years. That included a 5.3 percent gain in bookings for business equipment and underscores solid investment that may continue following Republican-led tax cuts. Robust consumer spending and less inventory accumulation in the fourth quarter may also fuel production gains in coming months.

Shipments of non-military capital goods excluding aircraft, which are used to calculate gross domestic product, increased 0.6 percent in December after rising a revised 0.4 percent the month before, according to the Commerce Department.

Other Details

  • Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 0.4 percent
  • Bookings for commercial aircraft climbed 15.9 percent
  • Orders also increased for machinery, metals and military aircraft
  • Durable goods inventories rose 0.3 percent
  • Defense capital goods orders increased 19.5 percent

— With assistance by Chris Middleton

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