Aircraft Orders Fuel February Rebound in U.S. Durable Goods

The rise in orders for durable goods -- items ranging from office furniture to heavy-duty trucks and ships -- was broad-based. Only one component declined: electrical equipment, appliances and components.

New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods rebounded in February from a steep fall the prior month, boosted by a surge in aircraft orders, government data showed Wednesday.

Initial orders for durable goods rose 2.2% in February, reversing the revised 3.6% dive in January, the Commerce Department reported.

The increase was the fourth in the last five months but was weaker than analysts' average estimate of a 2.8% rise.

Excluding transportation, which often is volatile month-to-month, new orders rose 1.6%.

Orders for transportation equipment posted the largest jump, 3.9%, with nondefense aircraft and parts orders making up nearly half the gain. The monthly report included Boeing Co.'s (IW 500/15) largest-ever $22.4 billion order with Indonesia carrier Lion Air.

The rise in orders for durable goods -- items ranging from office furniture to heavy-duty trucks and ships -- was broad-based. Only one component declined: electrical equipment, appliances and components.

Machinery orders rebounded the most, up 5.7% following a 9.1% dive in January.

"Much of the January weakness that was startling managed to reverse itself in February, again, reinforcing the fact that this is one volatile report and one can't take each month's move to heart," said Jennifer Lee at BMO Capital Markets.

"Watch the trend -- seems to be flattening out but remains in positive territory."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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