US Factory Orders Climb on Demand for Autos, Planes

Orders placed with U.S. factories increased in February, boosted by a pickup in demand for motor vehicles and commercial aircraft.

The 3 percent gain in bookings, the biggest in five months, followed a revised 1 percent decline in January, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 64 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 2.9 percent rise. The advance was led by a 5.6 percent surge in demand for durable goods that was little changed from the 5.7 percent estimate issued last week.

Auto sales that are on pace for the best year since 2007 and gains in home construction are helping drive sales and orders at manufacturers such as 3M Co. (MMM) and H.B. Fuller Co. (FUL) More corporate investment and inventory rebuilding are also keeping assembly lines busy, contributing to economic growth as businesses look beyond federal budget cuts.

“Business spending will have another good year,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “There’s demand here in the U.S., and some return of export growth.”

Stocks held earlier gains after the report. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6 percent to 1,571.33 at 10:04 a.m. in New York.
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 0.8 percent to 4.5 percent. The Commerce Department revised the January figure from a previously reported drop of 2 percent.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell