Underlying Trend Stronger
New orders for durable goods in March came in below expectations for more than a one percent gain, adding 0.7%. However, that followed substantial upward revisions to the February data. March follows on two strong months of growth: January up 2.4% and February up 2.3%. On a quarterly basis, the first quarter looks the strongest for growth in new orders since the third quarter of 2014.
Core capital goods orders most closely track business investment, offering an insight on momentum in the upcoming quarter’s GDP component. Orders for core capital goods, stripping out defense and aircraft, edged up 0.2% in March, marking a sixth consecutive increase.