Durable goods orders rose 2.8% in January, more than expected.
Expectations were for orders to rise 1.6% in January, up from an unexpected decline of 3.3% in December.
Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft orders were up 0.6% in January, which was better than expected, but still not encouraging, according to Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics.
In a note to clients, Ashworth wrote:
Durable goods orders rebounded by 2.8% m/m in January, boosted by a 128.5% m/m jump in commercial aircraft orders. Boeing reported orders for only 5 planes last month, but orders are always low in January, so the jump is principally due to the favourable seasonal adjustment.
Orders for non-defence capital goods (ex-aircraft) rebounded by 0.6% m/m, but the three-month-on-three-month annualised growth rate is still deep in negative territory at -9.0%. Shipments in the same category fell by 0.3% m/m. None of this is very encouraging as far as first-quarter business investment is concerned.
Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro added, "In one line: Headline is flattering; core capex orders are trending down."
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