WASHINGTON U.S. companies in October increased their orders of machinery and equipment that signal investment plans by the largest amount in five months, a hopeful sign for future economic growth.
Orders for core capital goods, considered a proxy for business investment, rose 1.7 percent in October, the best showing since a 2.3 percent rise in May, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Orders in this category had slowed beginning in the spring, acting as a drag on overall economic growth.
Total orders for durable goods were unchanged in October at $216.9 billion after a 9.2 percent jump in September that had been driven by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft.
In October, demand for machinery, primary metals and communications equipment increased, while orders for autos, airplanes and computers fell.