Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods posted the biggest gain in nearly three years last month, pulled up by a surge in demand for civilian aircraft.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders for durable goods — which are meant to last at least three years — climbed 6.5 percent in June, reversing two straight monthly drops. The June increase was the biggest since July 2014.
Spending on durable goods accounts for a small part of American economic output. But changes in durable goods orders often signal where the economy is headed; so forecasters and investors watch the report closely.
While any uptick in orders is good news for the U.S. economy and for American manufacturers, the June numbers aren’t as impressive as they first appear.
The bulk of the increase came from a 131.2 percent surge in orders for civilian aircraft, a category that bounces around wildly from month