WASHINGTON -- U.S. orders for machinery and other factory goods that signal business investment surged in January, indicating confidence in the economy.
The Commerce Department says businesses increased their orders for so-called core capital goods 7.2 percent from December. It was the best showing in more than a year and represented an upward revision from a preliminary estimate the government made last week of a 6.3 percent gain.
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Total factory orders fell 2 percent in January from December, mostly because of a steep decline in aircraft and defense orders. Demand for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, dropped 4.9 percent. Demand for nondurable goods, items such as chemicals and paper, rose 0.6 percent.