WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods posted a solid gain for the second straight month in March. A key category that signals business investment plans increased at the fastest pace in four months.
The Commerce Department says that orders for durable goods increased 2.6 percent in March following a 2.1 percent rise in February. Those back-to-back gains followed two big declines in December and January which had raised concerns about possible weakness in manufacturing.
Demand for core capital goods, considered a good guide for business investment plans, rose 2.2 percent in March after a 1.1 percent drop in February. It was the best showing since a 3 percent rise in November.
Manufacturing seems to be recovering after a cold winter disrupted business activity.