U.S. companies continue to spend more money on capital equipment, but how much equipment are they getting?
The Commerce Department on Monday reported that the value of new orders for durable goods rose 1.8% in August from July. Much of that gain came from a big jump in aircraft orders, but not all. The figure that economists watch to get a sense of where capital spending is going—nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft—rose by a respectable 0.5%. That was a bit better than the increase that most economists had estimated, and it came on top of an upward revision to July’s figure. Compared with a year earlier, those core capital goods orders were 13.7% higher in August.