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US durable goods orders jump on aircraft sales

Boeing employees prepare to install an engine cowling on a Boeing 777 passenger plane February 14, 2011
Boeing employees prepare to install an engine cowling on a Boeing 777 passenger plane February 14, 2011. New US orders for durable manufactured goods surged higher in December, led by a jump in commercial aircraft orders, government data showed.

New US orders for durable manufactured goods surged higher in December, led by a jump in commercial aircraft orders, government data released Monday showed.

Orders for durable goods -- long-lasting products such as vehicles, computers and machinery -- rose to $230.7 billion, up 4.6 percent from November, the Commerce Department said.

It was the seventh increase in the last eight months, following a 0.7 percent gain in November, and well above the 1.6 percent rise expected by analysts.

Excluding transportation equipment orders, which can be volatile month-over-month, durable goods orders rose 1.3 percent.

Transportation equipment orders leaped 11.9 percent after two consecutive months of declines, almost entirely due to commercial aircraft and parts orders, up 10.1 percent.

Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, or core capital goods orders, an indicator of future capital spending, rose 0.2 percent.

Shipments climbed 1.3 percent.

"Substantial declines in unfilled orders of nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft over the past few months will continue to put downward pressure on shipments growth," Briefing.com said in a research note.

On a 12-month basis, durable goods orders were up 4.1 percent.

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