New orders for durable goods from United States manufacturers rose less than expected in February, by 2.2 percent. The figure was still up from January’s drop of 3.7 percent but forecast was for a 3.0 increase.
Durable goods are usually big ticket items and are typically bulky or heavy products designed to last at three years, such as trains, computers or furniture.
The increase in orders from January to February was lead by transportation and defense, but almost every sector tracked by the Commerce Department reported an increase.
The only drop in orders was seen in the electrical equipment and appliances category where orders fell 2.5 percent. This was the biggest decline since December 2010.
Excluding the volatile transportation sector, the government said orders rose 1.6 percent while orders minus defense increased 1.7 percent.
Market reaction to the data was tepid, and the U.S. dollar was little changed, though briefly rose against the euro immediately after the report. But EURSD soon returned to pre-data levels, currently trading above $1.3310 in early New York trading. Dollar has been weak across the board since Monday when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments on the U.S. labour market signalled he left the door open for more quantitative easing.