Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose more than expected in May and a gauge of planned business spending increased for a third straight month, the latest signs of a pick-up in economic activity.
Durable goods orders increased 3.6 percent as demand for goods ranging from aircraft to machinery rose, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Orders for these goods, which range from toasters to aircraft, had increased by a revised 3.6 percent in April.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders to rise 3.0 percent after a previously reported 3.5 percent increase the prior month.
Transportation equipment accounts for just under a third of durable goods orders. When excluded, orders rose 0.7 percent after advancing 1.7 percent in April.
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Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 1.1 percent. Orders for the so-called core capital goods had increased 1.2 percent in April and economists had expected a 0.3 percent gain last month.
Core capital goods shipments, used to calculate equipment and software spending in the gross domestic product report, rebounded 1.7 percent. That followed a 2.0 percent drop in April.