US factory orders surge in September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New orders for U.S.-made goods increased more than expected in September, boosted by strong demand for computers and electronic products among others, but higher borrowing costs remain a challenge for manufacturing.

Factory orders jumped 2.8% after rising 1.0% in August, the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast orders would increase 2.4%. Orders advanced 0.7% on a year-on-year basis in September.

Spending on goods surged in the third quarter, keeping a floor under manufacturing. But the sector, which accounts for 11.1% of the economy, remains constrained by higher interest rates. Orders for computers and electronic products rose a solid 1.0%. Orders of electrical equipment, appliances and components gained 1.0%. Machinery orders increased 0.7%.

Civilian aircraft orders rebounded 92.5%, while motor vehicle, parts and trailers orders climbed 0.6%.

Shipments of manufactured goods rose 0.4%. Manufactured goods inventories increased 0.2%, while unfilled orders shot up 1.4%. The government also reported that orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, which are seen as a measure of business spending plans on equipment, increased 0.5% instead of 0.4% as reported in last month’s estimate.

Shipments of these so-called core capital goods fell 0.1% instead of being unchanged as previously reported. Business spending on equipment contracted in the third quarter.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)