- THE MAGAZINE
Durable goods orders up on aircraft WASHINGTON--Demand for aircraft lifted durable goods orders last month, but without orders for planes and other transportation goods, orders for big-ticket items fell for the first time in five months, the U.S. Department of Commerce said this week.
Durable goods orders rose 1.5 percent in February, while new orders are 4.6 percent below the same period in 2001, according to the Commerce Department (www.home.doc.gov). The latest figures comply with other industry statistics, which show the worst days of the recent recession may be past for the factory sector, but the recovery continues to show signs of vulnerability from month to month.
Orders excluding transportation fell 1.3 percent in February, while orders without defense goods eased 0.2 percent, also the first drop in five months. Orders for transportation equipment, led by aircraft and parts, surged 8.6 percent in February, including a more than 47-percent jump in orders of commercial aircraft. New car orders also increased 6 percent last month.
However, demand for computers and electronics fell for the first time since September, down 2.4 percent, while orders for semiconductors and communications equipment improved.