US Durable Goods Orders Rise 4.6 Pct. On Aircraft
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose sharply in December, helped by a strong gain in volatile aircraft orders. But companies slowed orders for computers and other goods that signal investment plans, indicating manufacturing could stay weak in 2013.
The Commerce Department said Monday that overall orders for durable goods increased 4.6 percent in December compared with November. The gains were led by a 56.4 percent increase in military aircraft orders and a 10.1 percent increase in commercial aircraft orders.
Orders for machinery, communications equipment and primary metals such as steel also showed increases.Still, demand for core capital goods, a measure of business investment plans, rose just 0.2 percent. That followed two straight monthly gains of 3 percent. Orders for durable goods, which are expected to last at least three years, can fluctuate from month to month. For all of 2012, durable goods orders rose 4.1 percent. But demand for core capital goods fell 0.3 percent for the year. Slower growth in business orders has hurt manufacturing, which struggled to gain momentum in 2012. While orders for durable goods rebounded in the final months of last year, economists expect the overall trend to stay weak this year. "The strength in durable goods orders for December is a most welcome development," said Dan Greenhaus, an analyst at BTIG. "Going forward though, despite the better numbers, we still expect business investment ... to slow yet again in 2013. This is a trend that remains in place given the weaker demand environment." Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the growth rate of business investment in equipment and software in the October-December quarter should come in close to 5 percent, an encouraging sign. Ashworth, however, is worried about an increase in Social Security payroll taxes, which hit Americans in January and is expected to slow consumer spending at the start of the year. That could make businesses nervous and further slow economic growth.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV