The Commerce Department said Thursday durable goods orders rose by a modest 0.7% in March, fueled by first-quarter orders for civilian aircraft. The strength in commercial aircraft (8.7%) and military aircraft offset a drop in demand for motor vehicles.
It’s still the weakest showing since a 0.9% decline in December.
So-called core capital goods (nondefense ex-aircraft) were soft, up only 0.2%. That’s half of the increase that the median forecast expected.