Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rebounded in February and shipments snapped two straight months of declines, providing fresh signs the economy was shaking off some of its winter gloom.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday durable goods orders rose 2.2 percent as demand increased almost across the board, ending two consecutive months of declines.
Orders of these goods, which range from toasters to aircraft and are meant to last three years or longer, had dropped 1.3 percent in January. Economists had expected orders to rebound 1.0 percent last month.
The report joined other data such as industrial production, retail sales and employment in suggesting a pick-up in economic growth after an unusually harsh winter chilled activity at the end of 2013 and the beginning of this year.
“We are still encouraged by the outlook on the factory sector once we get past this period,” said Sam Bullard, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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