Factory Orders Up 1.8 Percent in November

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Factory orders in the U.S. rose in November, signaling a jump in investment that could fuel economic growth in 2014.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that orders of goods such as machinery increased 1.8 percent that month. October was revised to show a 0.5 percent drop, up from a previously reported 0.9 percent decline.

Factory orders climbed 2.5 percent in the past 12 months. In November alone, orders of manufactured goods climbed to $497.9 billion, the highest level since 1992, the agency said.

That, combined with other positive employment and housing data, raised hopes the economy will gain momentum in the new year as Americans increasingly make big-ticket purchases such as houses and automobiles.

The November gains were driven by a 21.8 percent gain in aircraft orders. Core capital goods, an indicator of business investment, climbed 4.1 percent.

Durable goods enjoyed a gain of 3.4 percent in November, compared with nondurable goods, such as clothing, which rose 0.3 percent.