WASHINGTON – New orders for U.S.-made durable goods jumped a larger-than-expected 3.4 percent in October on a surge in demand for aircraft, but non-transportation orders rose a smaller-than-expected 0.3 percent, a government report showed on Tuesday.
Economists had forecast orders for durable goods, expensive items intended to last three years or more, to rise by 1.1 percent and had looked for orders to climb 1.0 percent outside transportation.
September orders fell less than originally reported, however. The decline in durable goods orders for that month was revised to 2.0 percent from 2.4 percent. Excluding transportation, orders were revised to a drop of 0.2 percent from 1.1 percent.
Non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, seen as an indicator of business spending plans, rose 1.3 percent. Manufacturing orders rose 5.0 percent.
Defense capital goods orders rose by 52.8 percent, the biggest gain since February 2002.
Demand for transportation equipment soared. Defense aircraft orders shot up 140.4 percent, while nondefense aircraft orders rocketed 50.4 percent higher. However, motor vehicles orders fell 2.2 percent.