Orders for durable U.S. goods climbed 3.4% in June, mostly because of strong bookings for passenger airplanes. But overall business investment remained soft and shipments of goods barely rose, the government said Monday. The increase in headline orders topped the seasonally adjusted 2.6% forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. Orders minus transportation rose 0.8%. That's the highest gain since August 2014, but not an especially strong advance. Meanwhile, orders for core capital goods - a reflection of business investment - rose a mild 0.9% in June following two straight declines. Still, core orders are running 3.4% below 2014 levels halfway through the year. Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to help determine quarterly economic growth, slid 0.1% last and month and have declined in the first two months of the second quarter.
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