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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:45 AM

Orders for U.S. Non-Transportation Goods Jump Most in a Year

By Alex Kowalski - Feb 27, 2013
Orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment climbed in January by the most in a year, indicating business investment is holding up.

Bookings for equipment meant to last at least three years minus demand for things such as aircraft, which is often volatile, climbed 1.9 percent, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the most since December 2011, Commerce Department data showed today in Washington. Total orders dropped more than projected, reflecting the biggest slump in defense bookings in a decade.

Healing overseas markets, sustained demand for automobiles and leaner inventories are combining to stabilize manufacturing. Last month’s gain may reflect relief that the U.S. skirted most of the tax increases and spending cuts associated with the so- called fiscal cliff, even as further progress on a budget compromise alludes lawmakers in Washington.

“Manufacturing is one of the relative bright spots in the economy,” said Guy LeBas, the chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, whose estimate for non-transportation orders was the highest in the Bloomberg survey. “The avoidance of the fiscal cliff issues triggered some increased demand from businesses.”



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