Orders for U.S. durable goods climb 3.4% in January

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WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft. A category that tracks business investment posted a more modest gain, the Commerce Department rpeorted Thursday.

Orders for goods meant to last at least three years have now risen nine straight months, another sign that manufacturing has proven resilient in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The January gain — triple what economists had expected — followed upticks of 1.2% in December and 1.3% in November.

Orders for civilian aircraft and parts jumped 389.9%. Excluding transportation equipment, which can bounce wildly from month to month, durable goods orders were up 1.4%.

A category economists watch for hints at future investment -- orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft — rose 0.5%.

Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press