Orders for durable goods fell unexpectedly in March by 1.3%, but just beneath that disappointing number was an important, positive result.
Excluding transportation, new orders increased 2.8%, the most since December 2007, the Commerce Department said Friday, April 23. The overall number was dragged down by a whopping decline of 67% in commercial aircraft orders, a typically volatile sector.
The 2.8% increase was four times larger than predicted, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The survey also forecast a gain of 0.2% in total orders.
This surge in March orders, which follows three consecutive monthly increases, added further evidence the recovery is expanding throughout the economy.
"The capital spending rebound we saw take place in the second half of last year continues to look pretty healthy into the first half of this year," Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg. "The manufacturing sector continues to perform well."
Read the full text of the Commerce Department's report on durable goods.