New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods increased by much more than expected in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, although the jump was primarily due to strength in the volatile transportation sector.
The report said durable goods orders surged up by 4.0 percent in March after slumping by 1.4 percent in February. Economists had expected orders to edge up by just 0.5 percent.
However, excluding a 13.5 percent jump in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders actually fell by 0.2 percent in March compared to a 1.3 percent drop in the previous month. Ex-transportation orders had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent.