New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made manufactured goods surged a much bigger-than-expected 5.9 percent in July, the biggest gain since September, and a business investment gauge posted the first gain in three months, a Commerce Department report showed Friday.
Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting durable goods orders to rise by 1 percent. Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, viewed as an indicator of business spending, gained 2.2 percent, the steepest climb since March.
U.S. stock index futures and the dollar rose on the strong economic news, while government debt prices pared gains.
Excluding volatile transportation orders, durables orders jumped 3.7 percent in July, the sharpest rise since August 2005 and the first rise in that category since April. When defense orders were stripped out, durables orders advanced 4.9 percent, the strongest increase since March.
Analysts were expecting an 0.6 gain in durables orders ex-transportation and a 0.5 percent advance in durables orders ex-defense.
Transportation equipment orders rose 10.8 percent. Civilian and defense aircraft orders advanced by 12.6 percent and 15.8 percent respectively, while orders for cars, trucks and parts advanced 9.8 percent.
Orders for computers and electronic products and machinery posted their sharpest gains since November 2006.