Orders to U.S. factories for "big ticket" durable goods soared 6.7% in December, the biggest gain in 15 months, the government said today.
The Commerce Department said that orders for durable goods totaled a seasonally adjusted $118.7 billion last month, an increase of $7.4 billion from the level of demand in November.
Almost three-fourths of the increase came from a big jump in orders for aircraft, reflecting a huge order received by the Boeing Co. of Seattle.
While most of the strength came in a single category, analysts said the advance was still a good sign for the economy, showing that manufacturing demand remained strong in December, two months following the record 508-point collapse of stock prices on Oct. 19.
The December orders figure closed out the best year for American manufacturers since 1984. Orders for the last 12 months totaled $1.3 trillion.