Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in April, but a drop in a measure of business capital spending plans could temper expectations for a sharp rebound in economic growth this quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday durable goods orders increased 0.8 percent as demand for defense capital goods surged and orders for fabricated metal products, transportation equipment and electrical equipment, appliances and components rose.
Durable goods range from toasters to aircraft and are meant to last three years or more. Orders advanced by a revised 3.6 percent in March. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast durable goods orders falling 0.5 percent last month after a previously reported 2.5 percent rise in March.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 1.2 percent after rising by a revised 4.7 percent in March, which was the largest gain since November.