U.S. durable, capital goods orders mostly positive

03/26/2014 | Reuters · Reuters

U.S. orders for durable goods turned around last month for a gain of 2.2%, but orders for nondefense capital goods switched to negative, falling 1.3% after a 0.8% increase in January. However, shipments of core capital goods were up 0.5%, suggesting "this sector of the economy could provide a modest boost to economic activity this quarter," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York. Separately, Markit's "flash" service-sector purchasing managers index has climbed to 55.5 this month from 53.3 in February.

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