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U.S. core capital goods orders rise, shipments surge

Staff Writer |
New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rose slightly more than expected in July and shipments surged.

This is pointing to an acceleration in business spending early in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Friday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 0.4 percent last month after being unchanged in June.

Shipments of core capital goods jumped 1.0 percent after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in June.

Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement.

They were previously reported to have gained 0.1 percent in June.

Business spending on equipment added 0.44 percentage point to the economy's 2.6 percent annualized growth pace in the second quarter, the most in nearly two years.

It has been buoyed by the energy sector, where oil and gas drilling has rebounded after declining in the wake of the collapse in crude oil prices.

That is helping to offset some of the drag on manufacturing from declining motor vehicle production.

Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.

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