WASHINGTON – Orders to U.S. factories rose 1.4 percent in September, the strongest gain in four months. A key category that tracks business investment plans jumped by the largest amount in more than a year.
The September gain followed a 1.2 percent advance in August, the Commerce Department Friday reported. Last month, the increase was paced by a 30.8 percent jump in demand for commercial aircraft, which swings widely from month to month.
The category that acts as a proxy for business investment plans increased by 1.7 percent in August, the best result since a 2.7 percent increase in July 2016.
Economists think that the production on a sustainable rebound which will provide support for the overall economy, after a prolonged stretch of weakness.
The demand for durable goods, long-lasting items ranging from bicycles to battleships, rose 2 percent in September. That was a slightly smaller profit than the 2.2 percent estimate the government reported last week.
Orders for nondurable goods, items not expected to last three years, increased 0.8 percent in the last month, an increase of 0.4 percent in August. The gain was led by an increase in the petroleum products, a category where the gain in orders probably reflected in large part a rise in energy prices in the month.
The economy grew by 3 percent rate in the July-September quarter, following a 3.1 percent of GDP increase in the second quarter. It was the first consecutive quarter to a profit of 3 percent or higher in three years.
For September, orders for mining and oil-field machinery rose by 17.8 percent. This sector has the place of strong gains after a prolonged period of weakness as energy companies cut back sharply on exploration after oil prices plunged.