US durable goods orders beat forecasts

Better-than-expected orders for US durable goods have raised hopes that the economy is strengthening.

Commerce Department figures showed that orders for durable goods - those expected to last more than three years - rose 1.7% in September, excluding transportation equipment.

When transportation goods - seen as a volatile element - are included, goods orders overall fell by 0.8%.

However, analysts said the underlying picture from the data was encouraging.

Core capital goods orders, which exclude both transportation and defence, saw a 2.4% rise, which is the largest jump since March.

"Demand for big ticket items seems to be alive and well," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.

"Outside of the volatile transportation sector, the gains in durable goods orders were broad-based and point to a manufacturing sector that continues to expand at a solid rate."

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