WASHINGTON (4/25/14)--Orders for durable goods--such as computers, automobiles and heavy machinery--climbed 2.6% in March, the biggest increase since November (MarketWatch April 24).
Potentially signaling an emergence from winter's grasp, every major big-ticket category witnessed an increase, according to numbers released by the Commerce Department Thursday.
Total shipments for durable goods ticked up 1.1%, inventories increased by 0.5% and core capital orders gained 2.2%, according to Moody's (Economy.com April 24).
"(These) durable figures are yet one more data point suggesting a healthy pick-up in growth is in store for the second quarter," Avery Shenfield, CIBC World Markets chief economist, told MarketWatch.
Transportation goods saw healthy gains, increasing 4% overall with a huge boost from non-defense aircraft, which rose 8.6%. Orders from Boeing far outpaced numbers seen in March 2013.
Automobiles, which experienced a modest 0.4% increase in growth, surpassed an annualized pace of 12 million units in March, perhaps signaling that demand will recover in coming months after a weak fall season, according to Moody's analysts.
Computers and electronic parts also posted healthy numbers with a 5.7% jump in March.
Meanwhile, the general upward trend in durable goods has economists projecting an even stronger second quarter, according to a recent MarketWatch consensus. Experts forecast a 3.5% increase in growth between April and June, up from previous expectations of just 1%.