In this Monday, March 12, 2018, photo, a long row of 2018 Countryman models is shown at a Mini Cooper dealership in Highlands Ranch, Colo. On Friday, March 23, the Commerce Department releases its February report on durable goods. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

US durable goods orders rise at fastest pace since June

March 23, 2018 - 8:35 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Led by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in the U.S. rebounded in February, reversing a January drop, to rise at the fastest pace since June.

The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for durable goods, items meant to last at least three years, rose 3.1 percent last month, beating economist expectations handily. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders rose 1.2 percent.

A category that tracks business investment — orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft — rose 1.8 percent after dipping in January.

American industry has benefited from a pickup in global economic growth and a drop in the dollar that makes U.S. products less expensive overseas. Manufacturers have added 224,000 jobs over the past year, the best 12-month gain since the recession.

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