Skip to main content

Orders for

durable goods rose much more than expected in March, but they were boosted by transportation.

Orders of goods intended to last more than three years rose 3% in March. Economists were expecting orders of big-ticket items to rise only 0.6%. Excluding transportation, however, orders fell much more than expected, dropping 1.8%. Economists expected a 0.5% fall -- and that compares with a rise of 0.5% in February.

In general, the rate of business spending is lousy. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft are down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Nondefense orders are a widely watched measure of demand from businesses.

Economists have said durable goods orders could pick up in response to decent consumer demand. But its's a big unknown whether or not consumers will continue to spend money, especially in light of the fact that consumer confidence has been taking some hits.