Orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose unexpectedly in November, official data showed on Jan. 4, in the latest sign of strength in a key sector leading the economic recovery.
The Commerce Department reported factory orders rose 0.7% following a decline in October, while most analysts expected them to fall 0.3%.
The department said durable goods orders fell a revised 0.3% in November, slashing its late December estimate of 1.3%.
That decline in orders for durable goods -- big-ticket items such as computers and cars -- had been due mainly to a more than 50 % plunge in aircraft orders.
Excluding the transportation sector, which can be volatile, factory orders rose 2.4% in November, the strongest gain since March.
Orders for nondurable goods led the gains, up 1.7% from October.
Over the first 11 months of 2010, factory orders were up a robust 12.3 % from the same period a year ago.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011