WASHINGTON – Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods increased in October by the largest amount in a year, reflecting a surge in demand for commercial airplanes. The category that tracks business investment spending showed a far more modest advance, indicating this key category remains under stress.
The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 4.8 percent in October. That is the best showing since a similar advance in October 2015. The gain primarily reflected a 94.1 percent jump in demand for commercial airplanes, an extremely volatile category.
The category that tracks business investment plans was up 0.4 percent, erasing only a small part of a 1.4 percent plunge in September. Business investment spending has been a drag on the economy this year, reflecting in part big cutbacks in the energy sector.