Area Development
New orders for durable goods rose by a higher-than-expected 5.2 percent in December 2007, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Durable goods are manufactured products that are designed to last three years or longer, and are sometimes referred to as "big ticket" items. According to industry analysts, orders and shipments of these items are typically sensitive to the business cycle. Aircraft and defense capital goods led the individual sector gains, which included orders for defense aircraft, which rose 138 percent in December. Orders for capital equipment - goods in which producers invest to build their capacity - rose 4.4 percent in December, the largest gain since the previous March.