Durable goods orders climb in November

Companies showed a greater appetite for longer-lasting items like cars and airplanes in November, with durable goods orders rising by 3.5 percent.

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The demand for airplanes – nondefense aircraft orders jumped by almost 22 percent – drove the most robust increase in almost a year, in the latest sign of a stronger economic recovery.

Durable goods orders had slumped a bit in October, falling by 0.7 percent. Analysts had expected a more moderate gain in November, with a median forecast of around 2 percent.

In all, transportation-related orders jumped 8.4 percent. But excluding those gains, new durable orders rose 1.2 percent, in another sign that businesses are growing more willing to invest.

Machinery, computers and communications equipment also saw higher orders in November.