mostlycloudy
Thursday May 28th, 2015 8:16PM

Orders for US manufactured goods up 2.2 percent

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in February by the largest amount in three months, helped by solid gains in demand for airplanes and autos.

Orders for durable goods increased 2.2 percent last month following a 1.3 percent drop in January, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The February rebound was led by a 13.6 percent surge in orders for commercial aircraft. Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 3.6 percent, recovering from a January decline.

But a category that serves as a proxy for business investment plans fell 1.3 percent in February, the biggest drop since a 1.6 percent December decline. Orders in this category had been up 0.8 percent in January.

Economists are looking for a sustained rebound in manufacturing as the economy improves this year.

The big rise in demand for commercial aircraft followed a 22.1 percent plunge in the previous month in this traditionally volatile category.

Demand rose for primary metals such as steel by 1.6 percent but orders for machinery fell 1.5 percent. Demand for computers was down 0.5 percent and orders for communications equipment dropped 2.7 percent.

Economists expect manufacturing output to strengthen in coming months reflecting better weather after a series of winter storms which disrupted production at some factories.

The Institute for Supply Management said that its gauge of manufacturing activity expanded more quickly in February as companies received more orders and boosted their stockpiles.

The institute's manufacturing index rose to 53.2 in February, up from 51.3 in January. That only partially reversed a five-point drop in January. Any reading above 50 indicates that manufacturing is expanding.

The ISM index had risen for six straight months until falling slightly in December and taking a big tumble in January as heavy snow caused factories to close.

The bad weather depressed purchases of homes and autos, causing factories to trim their production schedules for autos, furniture and appliances in January. However, the Federal Reserve reported that factory output rebounded strongly in February. The February gain was the largest in six months.

Economists hope that manufacturing and the broader economy are emerging from a winter slump. They expect the overall economy slowed to growth of less than 2 percent in the January-March period. But they are forecasting growth will rebound to around 3 percent for the rest of the year. If that occurs, it would be the fastest annual economic growth since 2005.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Federal prosecutors indict ex-US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors indict ex-US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges.
5:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 21 people dead and 11 ot...
11:09PM ( 21 hours ago )
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by...
9:33PM ( 5 days ago )
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 1 month ago )