Orders for durable goods, big-ticket items that last at least three years, returned to growth in March, boosting investor confidence that the U.S. economy continues to recover from its sharpest slowdown of the post-World War II era.
New orders for manufactured goods increased $1.4 billion, or 0.5%, to $256.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said. Analysts surveyed by Refintiv had expected a 2.3% rise.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, an indicator of business spending plans, rose 0.9% month over month, bouncing back from a 0.8% decline in February as winter storms snarled economic activity across Texas and other southern states.
Core capital goods orders spiked 10.4% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, shipments of computers and electronic products slipped 0.1% last month and motor vehicle shipments increased 5.8%, indicating the economy is weathering the global chip shortage.
The report was the latest to show the resilience of the U.S. economy. Recent reports have shown record retail sales and factories operating at levels not seen in years.