New orders for manufactured durable goods soared 7.8% in September to $226.7 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Oct. 26. The increase far exceeded the 2% rise that economists generally anticipated. September's spectacular increase followed two consecutive monthly declines.
New orders for transportation equipment were up 27.6% in September, primarily due to a 183.2% increase in new orders for non-defense aircraft and parts. Without transportation, new orders for manufactured durables, generally big-ticket items designed to last at least three years, increased just a tenth of a percentage point.
In September, new orders for machinery rose 1.3%, and new orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components were up 3.7%. New orders for primary metals fell 1% last month, new orders for fabricated metal products were down 1.4% and new orders for computers and electronic products fell a tenth of a percent.