A U.S. government report says demand for durable manufactured products rose significantly last month, with most of the increase coming from commercial aircraft orders.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday overall durable goods orders rose 3.3 percent in September from the month before - the largest monthly increase since January. Overall orders had declined in August.
Much of September's increase was driven by demand for U.S. commercial aircraft, which tends to be volatile.
Excluding transportation orders, demand for U.S. durable goods fell 0.8 percent in September, after a rise of 1.9 percent in August. A major factor in last month's decline was a big drop in orders for U.S. communications equipment.
The Commerce Department says corporate spending on U.S. capital goods excluding aircraft fell 0.6 percent in September, after a 4.8-percent increase in August. The reading is seen as a good proxy for business investment in the economy.
In a separate report, the Commerce Department says U.S. sales of new homes improved last month from a month earlier, but remained at depressed levels. The report says the annual rate of new home sales rose 6.6 percent in September to 307,000 units.
The annual pace of new home sales has risen slightly in recent months, but remains far below what analysts consider to be a healthy rate of around 800,000 units. High unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty about home prices have kept people from buying homes.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.