The Commerce Department reported today that durable goods orders grew by 2.9 percent last month, the highest level it has reached in three months and more than twice expectations. That growth resulted from a 228 percent rise in demand for commercial aircraft, especially for Boeing products. Overall, the numbers indicate that the nation's economy continues to pull out from the recession.
"April's durable goods orders figures demonstrate that despite the fiscal meltdown in Europe, the recovery in the American manufacturing sector is still gathering momentum," Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, told the Associated Press.
Industries saw gains and some losses. Motor vehicle orders climbed by 1.6 percent, following March's 4.5 percent rise. Total auto manufacturing orders increased by more than 16 percent. But orders for primary metals including steel dropped 2 percent. Heavy machinery demand declined nearly 6 percent. And computer and appliance orders also lost, by 3 percent and nearly 7 percent, respectively.