The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Thursday that the value of new factory orders increased 1.9 percent m-o-m in March, following a revised 0.3 percent decline in February (originally a 0.5 percent m-o-m drop). That was the largest advance in factory orders since August 2018.
Economists had forecast a 1.5 percent m-o-m gain.
According to the report, orders for transportation equipment surged 7.0 percent after decreasing 2.9 percent in the prior month, while orders for computers and electronic products rose 2.2 percent after gaining 0.3 percent in February, orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components increased 0.5 percent after advancing 1.4 percent February and orders for machinery edged up 0.1 percent after falling 0.9 percent in the prior month.
Total factory orders excluding transportation, a volatile part of the overall reading, rose 0.8 percent m-o-m in March (compared to a 0.3 percent m-o-m advance in February), while orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, a measure of business spending plans, went up 1.4 percent m-o-m (compared to a flat m-o-m performance in February). The report also showed that shipments of core capital goods were unchanged m-o-m in March, following an increase of 0.3 percent m-o-m in February.
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