Demand for big-ticket manufactured goods in the U.S. in March was better than expected, accordidng to a U.S. Commerce Department report. The Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods dropped 0.8% last month, about half the 1.5% decline that economists expected. A rise in orders for commercial and military aircraft helped cushion weakness elsewhere.
The small drop followed a 2.1% increase in orders in February. That was the first gain after six straight monthly declines.
Demand for transportation products fell 1.4% in March, yet there were increases of 4.4% in demand for commercial aircraft and 4.7% in orders for military aircraft. Demand dropped for primary metals such as steel, and for orders of machinery and computers.
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