WASHINGTON – U.S. businesses boosted their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in January by the largest amount in three months, but a key category that tracks business investment plans dipped slightly.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 1.8 percent in January after two months of declines. The strength last month came from a big surge in demand for commercial aircraft and military aircraft. Excluding the transportation category, orders actually slipped 0.2 percent, the weakest showing since June. Demand in a category that tracks business investment plans fell 0.4 percent, the first decline since September.
The decline in business investment followed two months of strong gains. Analysts believe business investment will strengthen this year as the manufacturing sector recovers from two years of lackluster gains.