New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods in January rose by the most in 10 months as demand picked up across the board, offering a ray of hope for the downtrodden manufacturing sector.
The Commerce Department said on Thursday that orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft meant to last three years or more, surged 4.9 percent last month, reversing December's revised 4.6 percent plunge.
January's increase was the largest since March. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast durable goods orders rebounding only 2.5 percent in January after a previously reported 5.0 percent decline in December.
Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, jumped 3.9 percent after tumbling by a revised 3.7 percent in December. These so-called core capital goods orders were previously reported to have decreased 4.3 percent in December.